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Article   |    
Institutions Without Walls for Emotionally Disturbed Children
Julian S. Rubenstein
Psychiatric Services 1977; doi:
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Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University and Chedoke Child and Family Centre, Box 590, Sanatorium Road, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3L6

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The parent-therapist program was developed as an alternative to residential treatment centers for severely emotionally disturbed children. Five healthy nuclear families function in a group as an extended family. Each family receives a salary and is responsible for the care and protection of an emotionally disturbed child. Mental health professionals provide the parents with education and supervision. By the end of 1976 a total of 36 children ranging in age from six to 15 had been treated by 20 different parent-therapist couplesfor periods ranging from nine to 26 months. A comparison of the program with those of two residential centers showed that there was no difference in treatment outcome but that costs for the parent-therapist program were half those for the residential centers.

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