The "client," which for children is seen as the client's family as a whole, is involved in every aspect of service planning and provision. They determine the goals of therapy and have input into interventions to achieve those goals. Building a positive, trusting relationship between the clinician and the client/family is seen as the key to change.
Services include teaching skills to clients and their families that can be used as tools to continue helping themselves. This approach emphasizes independence and decreasing dependence on services.
Behavioral interventions include positive reinforcement, prevention strategies, and teaching replacement behaviors. Reactive interventions ("consequences") following problem behavior are used only when positive interventions are being implemented consistently and are proving insufficient to achieve the desired results. Services do not disrupt the education of clients who are in school.
Clinicians use only treatment approaches that have been validated through sound research as effective. Clinicians continuously evaluate whether the interventions being used are achieving the desired outcome. Strategies are modified or changed if outcomes are not being achieved.
Services aim to accomplish desired outcomes while using the least amount of resources as possible. This includes minimizing cost to the funding entity and family for services, as well as designing interventions that are both cost-efficient and energy-efficient (least effort) for the client/family to implement.
Assessment and services for client issues are viewed in the context of the client's environment. Services not only focus on stabilizing the individual client's behavior and emotions, but also changing aspects of the client's environment and support system to promote and maintain healing, growth, and improved interpersonal relationships. Positive changes in the client's environment and support system are seen as the key to maintaining the client's improvement.