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Who is Appropriate for AF-CBT?


AF-CBT is appropriate for a broad range of families. The following general criteria have been developed to facilitate the identification of families who may benefit from this intervention.

  • AF-CBT Eligibility Criteria: “Yes” to 1, 2, and 3 as well as “Yes to ANY of 4 or 5”

1. Child age 5-17 years is available to participate in services now or soon

2. At least one caregiver (biological, foster, kinship, offending, or non-offending) is available to participate in services now or soon

3. Child and caregiver have adequate cognitive skills and personal functioning to allow them to adequately participate and benefit from therapy (e.g., no serious intellectual/cognitive limitations, no treatment-impairing mental illness/addiction).

Case is eligible if it meets ANY item in #4 or ANY item in #5

4a. Caregiver has an allegation or report of suspected physical abuse

4b. Caregiver has done something that resulted or could have resulted in an injury or harm to child

4c. Caregiver has likely used some type of excessive or harsh physical discipline with child

4d. Caregiver and child or family have conflicts and/or heated arguments, which may include caregiver anger or emotional abuse 

5a. Child has a pattern of exhibiting oppositional, argumentative, and/or explosive/angry behaviors

5b. Child has been verbally or physically aggressive, and/or exhibited other high-risk behaviors

5c. Child has trauma symptoms related to physical discipline or family conflict

5d. Child has a history of conflict, excessive or harsh physical discipline, physical abuse, or being injured by a caregiver.

AF-CBT Screen for Eligibility

This document is a measure that lists some of the eligibility criteria we use to determine if a case is appropriate for AF-CBT treatment. The primary items look for caregiver physical abuse, high risk behavior, or physical discipline, family conflict, children externalizing behavior/aggression or trauma symptoms secondary to this caregiver/family history. This information can be obtained based on direct questions with a caregiver and/or based on a review of collateral informants or secondary materials/documents.


Prospective AF-CBT trainees must be mental health professionals with a Master's degree or higher.

AF-CBT should be conducted by individuals who have been formally trained in the model and who are familiar with the content, methods, assessments, and fidelity tools that are required to ensure effective administration of this approach. AF-CBT is appropriate for application in diverse settings, especially outpatient, in-home, and residential services. It is being used on a preliminary basis in group settings.
AF-CBT is a short-term treatment typically provided once or twice a week, that may require 18 to 24 hours of service (or longer based on individual needs) over 6 to 12 months (although treatment may last as long as determined necessary). During AF-CBT, school-aged children (5-15) and their caregivers participate in separate but coordinated therapy sessions, often using somewhat parallel treatment materials. In addition, children and caregivers attend joint sessions together at various times throughout treatment. This approach seeks to address individual and caregiver-child issues in an integrated fashion.


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JAN 28-30, 2020

Starview Community Services

Compton, CA.







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