Threshold Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP)
About This Program
Target Population: Young adult mothers with mental health needs and their children
For children/adolescents ages: 17 – 23
The Thresholds Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP) provides comprehensive services for 17-23 year-old pregnant/parenting young women with mental health challenges referred by child welfare, juvenile justice, or homelessness. The TLP includes 24-hour staffed residences where young mothers and their children live together, and receive support and guidance at the moments when it is most needed. Additionally, residents receive case management, individual and group therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training, psychiatry, Parent Education, Supported Employment and Education services, and access to the Early Learning Center.
By utilizing the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model and other practices as the program’s foundation, the Mothers Project and all Thresholds Youth & Young Adult Services focus heavily on creative engagement strategies, enhancing competencies, facilitating self-discovery, and utilizing a team approach driven by the young person’s preferences for goal planning to help those who have been hardest to reach.
The goals of the Thresholds Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP) are:
- Assist young mothers in the child welfare system with mental health needs to transition successfully to adulthood
- Equip young mothers with the parenting skills to raise healthy children and reduce intergenerational involvement of child welfare
- Facilitate permanency and wellness for young mothers, including transition to sustainable housing, ongoing mental/physical health services, employment, education, relationships, and parenting
The essential components of the Thresholds Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP) include:
- Housing for young adult mothers and their children
- Team-based approach including residential support specialists, clinical staff, vocational staff, and parent and child educators
- Specific therapies, interventions, and engagement strategies designed for young women with long traumatic histories and mental illness
- Combination of interventions including the Transition to Independence Process (TIP) Model, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), IPS Supported Employment, and Parents as Teachers
- Connection with Early Learning Center child care, which provides developmental skills for the children and parent coaching for the mother/child dyad, along with Home Visiting
- Specific transition services assisting with adult-based housing, benefits, and services
- Outcomes tracking and Quality indicators
Threshold Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:
- Multiple symptoms of mental illness and complex trauma, possible attachment and attunement issues
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Many of the young adults have been separated from their families of origin for a very long time. While some still maintain strong connections, others are just starting to navigate renewed relationships. Services are designed to assist the young mothers through those relationships.
Services are 24/7. Individual therapy, individual case management, and group therapy sessions are typically once a week for about an hour
18 months-2 years
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Community Agency
- Residential Care Facility
This program does not include a homework component.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
Apartments, public or other means of transportation to services, offices for staff, private space for meetings
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Residential Specialists: Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree Case managers and Voc Specialists: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree Therapists: Master’s degree or Licensed Supervisors: Master’s degree or Licensed
Education and Training Resources
There is not a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is training available for this program.
- Marc Fagan, Psy.D.
Training is obtained:
Onsite at program or at other locations
Number of days/hours:
Varies depending on needs
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.
Vorhies, V., Glover, C. M., Davis, K., Hardin, T., Krzyzanowski, A., Harris, M., … & Wilkniss, S. (2009). Improving outcomes for pregnant & parenting foster care youth with severe mental illness: An evaluation of a transitional living program. Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 33(2), 115-124. doi:10.2975/33.2.2009.115.124
Type of Study:
Pretest-posttest study without control group
Number of Participants: 25
- Age — 18-21 years (Mean=18.8 years)
- Race/Ethnicity — 22 Black, 2 Latino, and 1 White
- Gender — 100% Female
- Status — Participants were pregnant and parenting foster car youth with severe mental illness or severe emotional disturbance.
Location/Institution: Not specified
Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study describes the effectiveness of the Thresholds Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP) for foster care youth who are preparing to transition to independent living. Measures utilized include the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP), the Parent Opinion Questionnaire (POQ) and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI). Results indicate that program participation is associated with positive changes in participants’ familial relationships, family responsibility and care, proper parenting behavior and feelings, and parental distress and competency, but no change in mental health symptoms. Positive behavior changes associated with program participation were observed in education, employment, and low numbers of suspected and substantiated child maltreatment reports. Negative behavior changes associated with the program were frequency of AWOL incidents and subsequent pregnancies. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, lack of a control group, small population, and lack of follow-up.
Length of postintervention follow-up: None.
Klodnick, V. V. (2015). Constructing home on a cliff: Aging out of the child welfare system at age 21 with a serious mental health condition (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest LLC Database. (Accession No. 3712541)
- Candy Malina, LICSW
- Agency/Affiliation: Thresholds
- Website: www.thresholds.org/our-work/youth-services/mothers-project
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (773) 572-5449
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2016
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2018
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2016