Institute for Attachment and Child Development - Family Treatment Program

About This Program

Target Population: Children with reactive attachment disorders (RAD) and their caregivers

Program Overview

The Family Treatment Program works with kids based on where they are developmentally, rather than by their chronological ages. It revisits the attachment cycles from a child’s first three years of life to repair, heal, and move forward. Staff teaches them to learn that their needs will get met, to learn to trust caregivers, to develop cause and effect thinking in regard to achieving the “wants” in their lives, and to develop a healthy level of guilt regarding poor choices. Kids learn how to be safe with their vulnerable feelings within a parenting environment.

The Family Treatment Program involves the child living in a treatment family home for five or more weeks, followed by family therapy and parent training for the permanent caregivers.

The treatment model was changed significantly in 2005, when all therapy techniques related to holding therapy, a controversial treatment technique, were removed. Clinicians focus on more traditional family techniques related to parent/child relationships. Due to this change, any research done before 2005 is not relevant to the current version of the program.

Program Goals

The ultimate goal of the program are to keep children with RAD in, or prepare them for, successful long-term family environments via the following goals:

  • Children will demonstrate a decrease in conduct problems.
  • Children will demonstrate an increase in their ability to verbalize their feelings and needs.
  • Children will increase their openness to positive encounters with others.
  • Parents will develop an understanding of their child's disorder, their own emotional triggers, and new methods in parenting.

Goals are measured by improvement on the Child Behavior Checklist.

Essential Components

Essential components of the inpatient family treatment program include:

  • Children build self-esteem
  • Children earn to trust adults to care for them
  • Children learn to recognize and productively express their own feelings
  • Children learn tools to transition back into their own families effectively
  • The IACD therapists and therapeutic treatment parents also teach caregivers empathic parenting styles to help them parent more effectively for when their children return home

Program Delivery


Institute for Attachment and Child Development - Family Treatment Program does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Education and Training

Education and Training Resources

There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is training available for this program.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Institute for Attachment and Child Development - Family Treatment Program.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Institute for Attachment and Child Development - Family Treatment Program.

Contact Information

Forrest Lien, LCSW
Phone: (303) 674-1910
Fax: (303) 670-3983

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2014