FCT Cost Effectiveness

FCT, an evidence-based model that is owned by a not-for-profit organization, has resulted in significant cost savings for states, funding sources and service providers.  Compared with other major EBP’s, FCT can have significantly lower startup and implementation costs. *

When implemented, FCT can have a positive impact on critical business elements such as: marketing and collateral relations, clinical goal planning and documentation, team effectiveness and staff retention, utilization review of necessity for services, hiring motivated clinicians, and improving data collection, research and distribution. These factors make FCT a progressive encompassing model for agencies ready to implement an evidence-based model.



Independent Studies of FCT cost Effectiveness


The FCT Model has been empirically studied for cost effectiveness by two independent peer reviewed publications with the results published in 2012 and 2015.

Independent Study Findings

In its first major published study, Family Centered Treatment services were provided to over 2000 adjudicated youth with serious criminal offenses and their families then examined for costs. The youth examined were followed for at least one-year post-treatment and actual treatment costs of FCT was determined.




The results of this study were reported in the Journal of Juvenile Justice in 2012 which concluded: Had these youth been placed in Group Homes or Therapeutic Group Homes instead; treatment costs would have been significantly higher.

The FCT Model saved the state $12.3 million from 2003-2007. In other words: Every dollar spent on saved the state $2.29 in residential placement costs. In this study, results showed cost of treatment per youth served through FCT saved the state $27,916 per youth in Group Homes and $25,433 per youth for Therapeutic Group Homes.**

In 2015, a second major study was completed by the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Their report titled “Summary of Youth Outcome Following Family Centered Treatment In Maryland” established that initial intervention costs and total placement costs were significantly less for FCT than for Group Home Youth.  The FCT Model saved the state of Maryland $36.4 million from 2008-2013.

The report concluded that the initial intervention cost for FCT as compared with group home placement was less costly by $30,170 per youth, on average. This was attributed to a combination of youth having longer lengths of stay in group homes (201 days vs. 151 days for FCT) and the lower daily cost of Family Centered Treatment.

In addition, post-admission placement costs were $41,730 less per youth, on average, for the FCT group compared to the Group Home group for the 12 months after the start of each intervention. The cost spent on FCT was offset by $44,158 saved on group homes and other residential child care, and $8,848 for secure facilities.

Costs in the 12- to 24-months post-admission were an average of $20,339 less per youth for the FCT group than the Group Home Group.***


Average Intervention Costs FCT vs. Group Home Youth

OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice, 2012

 “Indeed, the cost benefits of FCT to the state of Maryland reflect reported direct cost reductions in states using diversion programs for adjudicated youth throughout the United States.”
Post Admission FCT vs Group Home Youth

Post Admission FCT vs Group Home Youth

 University of Maryland School of Social Work, 2015  

“Moreover, given the findings in [the] cost analysis, FCT is  substantially more economical than group home use.” 



*Startup and implementation costs are determined upon readiness assessment and formal agreement.

**Sullivan, Bennear, Honess, et. al. (2012) Family Centered Treatment®—An Alternative to Residential Placements for Adjudicated Youth: Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness, Journal of Juvenile Justice Volume 2, Issue 1 ePub.

***Bright, C. L., Betsinger, S., Farrell, J., Winters, A., Dutrow, D., Lee, B. R., & Afkinich, J. (2015). Youth Outcomes Following Family Centered Treatment® in Maryland. Baltimore, MD: University of Maryland School of Social Work.