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Intensive Family Coaching (IFC) Information

What is Intensive Family Coaching?

Intensive Family Coaching (IFC) is an in-home service that is designed for preschoolers and young children (ages 2.5-7) exhibiting disruptive behaviors such as noncompliance, temper tantrums, aggression, hyperactivity, and disrespect of authority and their caregivers.

The goals of IFC include building a more positive parent-child relationship, reducing disruptive, oppositional behaviors in young children, and improving young child compliance with parent directions.

The clinicians assigned to the case utilize in-the-moment coaching to help the caregiver meet specific goals related to an improved relationship between the child and caregiver and improved compliance by the child towards requests made by the caregiver.

How does it work?

The IFC team, comprised of a Master’s level clinician and a Bachelor’s level worker, meets with the child and caregiver(s) in the home 1-3 times per week for approximately 6 months. Each session is structured to include a check-in with the family, data collection to assess progress with meeting identified skills, skills coaching, and a review of homework.

Treatment is split into 2 phases: Child-Directed Interaction (CDI) and Adult-Directed Interaction (ADI). Within each of the phases, there are specific skills that the clinician looks for the caregiver to master. The caregiver cannot move from CDI into ADI until these goals are achieved.

Child-Directed Interaction teaches caregivers how to give specific (labeled) Praise, Reflect verbalizations, Imitate, Describe behavior, and Enjoy (P.R.I.D.E) playing with their child. Caregivers also learn and practice using Planned Ignoring to modify their child’s behavior.

In the Adult-Directed Interaction phase of treatment, caregivers are trained and given the opportunity to practice giving effective commands and using appropriate consequences (Privilege Restriction) to increase their child’s compliance. Caregivers are also taught how to remain emotionally balanced when telling their children to do something.

Throughout treatment, families receive hands-on, in-the-moment coaching and support from their clinicians to learn and achieve mastery of these skills.

How do I get started?

Families involved with Intensive Family Coaching are referred through Delaware County Children and Youth Services or through a psychological evaluation and funded by Delaware County CCBH.

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