The Teaching Family Model


PHH CEO Drenda Tigner explains the Teaching Family Model
PHH Director, Drenda Tigner, has been training staff in the TF Model for more than three decades

PHH utilizes the Teaching Family Model, developed by the Bureau of Child Research at the University of Kansas. This behavioral approach is widely recognized as an effective method of treating troubled youth. TFM identifies and corrects problem behaviors through instruction on positive behaviors. Each child’s strengths and weaknesses directs the individualized treatment, making it possible for children labeled severely emotionally disturbed or delinquent to succeed in the real world.

The professional case managers who direct the youth’s treatment are called Teaching Parents. They are a married couple living in each family-style group home with up to five youth. Teaching Parents teach social skills, academics skills, self-care skills and successful family-living behaviors. They also routinely provide individual, group and family counseling.

The Teaching Family model uses three very effective tools to teach residents positive life skills:

  • social reinforcement from caring and consistent Teaching Parents,
  • a token economy to promote positive achievements, and
  • a government system that allows youth to participate in a democratic fashion while also learning about self-governance.


"Everybody's Children" Clip: Teaching Family Model Presented

PHH Board of Directors at the Teaching Family Model gathering in 2005Gary, Peggy, Drenda, Ty at 2005 National Teaching Family Gathering.

Designed in Chicago