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

Program Overview

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.

Program Goals

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

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Threshold Mothers Project Transitional Living Program (TLP).

Essential Components

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

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

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.

Recommended Intensity:

Services are 24/7. Individual therapy, individual case management, and group therapy sessions are typically once a week for about an hour

Recommended Duration:

18 months-2 years

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care


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

Manuals 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

Manual Information

There is not a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Onsite at program or at other locations

Number of days/hours:

Varies depending on needs

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

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 basic study design, measures, results, and 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 controlled postintervention follow-up: None.

Additional References

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)

Contact Information

Candy Malina, LICSW
Agency/Affiliation: Thresholds
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