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If you have questions, please ask
your therapist or call 908.323.2368.

For Families (FAQs)

If you have been referred to the CFS program you may have questions about the program and its staff. You will want to know what to expect. Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by parents.

How often are we expected to meet?
Family therapy takes place usually for one hour per week. Extra time may be available if needed. The family therapist will come right to your home. You will pick the room in which you want to meet. When the therapist calls you to make the first appointment, he or she will talk with you about who should come to the first meeting and answer any questions that you have.

Your child might also work with an individual counselor or behavioral assistant. Therapists will need to meet you before working with your child. In home individual counseling is usually less formal than in office counseling. The therapist may use activities or play to help your child become more comfortable. The individual therapist and family therapist communicate frequently so that the individual therapist can work with your child on issues that come up in the family therapy.

Is there a fee or cost to me?

There is no cost to your family. The CFS program is paid for by grants, contracts, or state or federal funding.

How long will treatment take?
The CFS program is usually authorized for three months at a time. If more time is needed, you and your therapist can apply for additional months. The usual length of treatment is between 4 and 6 months.

What if my child refuses to participate?
This is not unusual. It may take time for your child to trust that the CFS program will be helpful and not hurtful. The CFS program can begin without your child’s consent. As parents, you will begin the process. The family therapist will help you find ways to bring your child to the therapy room. In most cases, young people are willing to participate after the initial difficulties are overcome.

What will the therapist tell other agencies?
The therapist is not allowed to tell anyone, anything without your permission. The only exceptions to this law are when there is danger to self or others or concerns about child abuse. Then, by law, the therapist must break confidentiality and take an action to help prevent harm.

When you come into the CFS program there may be other agencies or professionals who are also working with you or your family. It is helpful and sometimes necessary for CFS staff to communicate with those other agencies regarding the treatment of your child. The therapist will discuss this communication with you and then ask your written permission for it to take place.

Each month the family therapist will need to send a brief summary to funding agencies in order to prove we are working and funding is appropriate.

How will I know is this is working or on track?

Families are asked to try the CFS program for at least one month before deciding if it is helpful. As time goes on and you get to know your therapist, you will know the therapy will be helpful. Your family situation is complicated, therapy is complicated. Give it time.

What if I disagree with the therapist?

This sometimes happens but is not always a problem. Your CFS therapists will not push anything on you. We respect that it is your family and your home. You have allowed CFS services to come into your home to offer ideas or help. If you feel a therapist is disrespectful or does not understand your side, first try discussing it with your therapist. If you remain dissatisfied, call the CFS supervisor or tell the person who referred you that you would like another therapist.

Will services end even if we still want or need them?

Yes. Usually families would like CFS services to continue beyond the time allowed. Since CFS is an intensive in home program, the program must be brief. CFS staff will help you transfer to other services if needed. Do not let this discourage you, a lot of good work can be done in the months ahead.

Can my child be involved in other programs at the same time?
Yes, especially if your child has a substance abuse problem. CFS staff will want to discuss your child’s treatment plan with other providers so that services are well planned. When all programs work together with you and each other, it will be helpful for your child.

Will the family therapist be willing to meet with my child alone?
Possibly. Your child might have an opportunity to work one on one with an individual therapist or a behavioral assistant. Your family therapist is highly trained in family therapy and will primarily focus on that aspect of treatment. One of the family therapist's goals is to help you help your child.

What about my other children, can this program help them?
Yes. Your children should be included in the family therapy. Problems affect all family members and parents worry about all of their children. When indicated an individual therapist might be able to spend time with one of your other children, not just the child you are most worried about.

Will CFS be able to help me with financial problems?
No. CFS does not have funds to help in emergency situations such as being unable to pay bills or rent. Staff can help you find the appropriate agencies.

Can CFS staff give me or my child rides as needed?

The CFS family therapist is only allowed to come to your home for family therapy. Since the individual therapist job is to counsel your child, they might be able to give your child a ride if it is a part of their work together.

If you have any other questions, please ask your therapist or call 908.323.2368


Contextual Family Services - A New Jersey Non-Profit Corporation
44 Old Highway 22 - Ste. 6
Clinton, NJ 08809
Phone: 908.323.2368

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