U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Youth Outcomes Following Family Centered Treatment in Maryland

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2015
22 pages

This report summarizes findings from an external evaluation of the Family Centered Treatment® program; it reviews evaluation outcomes, a program cost analysis, and program elements.


This document provides an evaluation of Family Centered Treatment ® (FCT), which is used in Maryland to reduce out-of-home placements for youth involved with the juvenile justice system; the program provides services in youths’ home communities and within their families. The authors report on a research project to analyze the utilization, costs, and outcomes of FCT, with the primary purpose of investigating youth outcomes after participation in FCT. Results on utilization found that fidelity to the FCT practice model was high, but that fidelity and engagement in treatment were not significantly related to justice system outcomes, however dosage as measured by length of treatment was significant in most models of later outcomes; and longer FCT treatment spells were associated with decreased odds of juvenile adjudication, adult conviction, and adult incarceration. Results on costs showed that, on average, the initial intervention cost for FCT was $30,170 less per youth than group-home placement for a statistically equivalent comparison group; considering initial intervention costs and any additional residential placement costs during the first 12 months after the start of each intervention, FCT costs were an estimated $41,729 less per youth for the FCT group as compared with the control group; and from 12 to 24 months post-admission, costs were $20,339 lower on average for FCT youth. Youth outcome results showed that youth participating in FCT were significantly less likely to be committed in the juvenile justice system and experience arrest resulting in conviction or to experience adult arrest leading to conviction or a sentence of incarceration; no significant difference was found between youth receiving FCT and group care on re-adjudication in the juvenile justice system; and an analysis of matched female subsample showed non-significant differences between FCT and group care participants.

Date Published: August 1, 2015