The reasons for involving families is the general consensus that including family members in treatment agencies has beneficial long term results. Families bring attitudes and values that are familiar to the child including years of experience in working with their child. The involvement of family members in the treatment process signals that the problems are family based and counteracts the message that the problem lies only in the young person. A way of understanding the context within which family involvement can occur is provided by the systems theory. Roles for family members could be as voting members of the board of directors or they could be involved in determining policies, rules, and program activities within the treatment program; a transition from the role of treatment problem to the role of treatment resource. 14 references, 3 figures.