Our youth, our future

Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is a programme for young people, aged 10-17, and their family/whānau to help them strengthen their relationships, improve the way they communicate and reduce conflict in the home. The objectives of FFT are:

  • To maintain existing placements
  • To help young people either stay in or return to school or training
  • To improve the way family members interact with each other
  • To improve family well-being and reduce conflict
  • To reduce offending behaviour

Our therapists are highly trained and meet with families in their homes and at other convenient locations.

How FFT works

FFT focuses on celebrating strengths and successes, so our therapists work hard to establish a firm relationship with the family/whānau built on trust and respect. For FFT to work all members of the household need to take part. Members of the extended family/whānau are also welcome to participate as this can also be beneficial.

The programme consists of 10-12 sessions, typically taking place over three months. There are five major elements of FFT, which are:

  • Building a trusting relationship between the family/whānau and therapist.
  • Working to reduce conflict and to increase hope and a positive family/whānau environment.
  • Identifying how family/whānau interactions can affect behaviour.
  • Working to improve communication and conflict management skills.
  • Extending changes into other areas, such as when other people in the family’s support network are brought in, e.g. extended whānau, teachers, probation officers and sports coaches.

The FFT programme has set goals and milestones to measure progress. This means family/whānau can see how they’re tracking, which can have a motivating effect when the going gets tough.

How to access FFT

FFT is available in Northland, Auckland, Waikato (including Hauraki and South Waikato), Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, Manawatu, Lakes/Central Otago, Dunedin and Southland. Referrals can be made by Oranga Tamariki staff and Gateway Coordinators through completion of a Youth Horizons referral form. 

Find out more

For more information phone 0800 375 210 or email us. 

Click here for Functional Family Therapy - Cross Generations