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.