A New Family Trauma Reentry System with High Parent Involvement

Room: Commonwealth 3

Recidivism rates for children returning home from residential can be 50% or higher. A primary reason is that intensive aftercare often begins too late or just before discharge. And the child returns to the same unchanged and traumatized family. In turn, after a short honeymoon period, treatment gains made in residential care can quickly evaporate. New Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) legislation in the Family First Act is also requiring clear reentry discharge planning and family-based aftercare for at least 6 months post-discharge that is trauma-informed with evidence of active family participation before and after discharge.

To address these challenges, a new evidence-based family trauma reentry system was created that combines a unique blend of (1) High motivational tactics to quickly engage parents and the extended family; (2) Family trauma sessions using Zoom that starts intensive family therapy day #1 of residential treatment and continues into aftercare; (3) Aftercare therapists and Residential therapists speaking the same family systems language and working in tandem with one another and the family.

This family trauma reentry system will be highlighted using the Barry Robinson Center as the case study along with outcome research results and video tapes from actual families to illustrate of how this model works.


Scott P. Sells, PhD, MSW, LCSW, LMFT

Former tenured Professor of Social Work , Savannah State University

Email: spsells@familytrauma.com