Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Informational Call

Includes a Live Web Event on 05/29/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)

This free informational call will take place on May 29th, 2024 from 12:00-1:00 pm EDT.  Ashley Fiore, National Trainer for NCA's Mental Health Institute and Alyssa Todd, NCA's Accreditation Coordinator, will answer questions and provide a brief overview of Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT;, an intervention to improve family relationships for those experiencing high conflict/coercion, harsh/punitive discipline, child physical abuse, and/or child behavior problems. They will be joined by Cassandra Agliletti, a clinician at Juliette's House who will share her experiences learning AF-CBT through the MHI in October 2023.

This informational call is an opportunity to learn more about the model and consider registering for future training. NCA will be offering online training in AF-CBT on July 17, 19, 24 and 26 from 12-4 pm EST.

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) is a trauma-informed, evidence-based intervention designed to improve the relationship between children and their caregivers by addressing individual and family problems relating to: 

  • Family conflicts   
  • Behavior problems, including physical aggression
  • Anger and verbal aggression, including emotional abuse
  • Harsh physical discipline, physical aggression, or child physical abuse, or
  • Child trauma-related symptoms secondary to any of the above

 These patterns may be shown by an individual caregiver or a child/adolescent, and/or by the family.   Therefore, AF-CBT targets the caregiver, child/adolescent, and the larger family context. 

AF-CBT involves three phases of treatment:

1) Engagement and Psychoeducation, 2) Individual skills building, 3) Family applications.

 Who is Appropriate for AF-CBT?

AF-CBT is appropriate for a broad range of families. The following general criteria have been developed to facilitate the identification of families who may benefit from this intervention.


  • A child, age 5-17, can participate now or soon
  • A caregiver (e.g., biological, adoptive, foster, or kin) can participate now or soon
  • Both caregiver and child have an adequate capacity or repertoire to learn/benefit from AF-CBT


  • The Family has frequent conflict(s) and/or arguments OR
  • A Caregiver shows anger (hostility), uses physical force/discipline (coercion), and/or has allegation/history of child physical abuse OR
  • A Child shows anger, has behavior problems (e.g., defiance, aggression, explosiveness), has trauma symptoms/PTSD after physical discipline/abuse, and/or has prior exposure to harsh discipline/physical abuse

A case is eligible if ALL 3 Background Criteria and 1 Clinical Criterion are met.


Prospective AF-CBT trainees must be mental health professionals with a Master's degree or higher. Trainees are asked to commit to implementing AF-CBT with at least 2 families during the course of the training year so they should have an active caseload ready to apply the model.

AF-CBT should be conducted by individuals who have been formally trained in the model and who are familiar with the content, methods, assessments, and fidelity tools that are required to ensure effective implementation.

For any questions, please reach out to Jami Bolton,

Ashley Fiore, MSW, LCSW

National Trainer

National Children's Alliance Institute for Better Mental Health Outcomes

Ashley Fiore has worked with CACs throughout her professional career as a clinician, clinical director, program manager, trainer, and consultant. She has assessed and treated over 2,000 children and families using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Alternatives for Families Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). Prior to joining NCA, Ashley served as clinical faculty for the North Carolina Child Treatment Program, where she trained TF-CBT and provided individual and group consultation to clinicians using a learning collaborative model. She has expertise in the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based, trauma focused, child/family interventions. Ashley is a certified trainer in TF-CBT and AF-CBT and has provided training/consultation on trauma-informed comprehensive clinical assessments, trauma-related problematic sexual behaviors in children, and implementation support of evidence-based treatment models. She received her MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill, and enjoys gardening, making pottery, and hiking in her free time. 

Alyssa Todd

Accreditation Coordinator

National Children's Alliance

Alyssa Todd worked as an Investigative Social Worker for Vermont CPS for almost five years, then moved to Philadelphia for grad school, where she continued to work with youth in foster care. She moved back to Vermont and became the Director and Forensic Interviewer of a small Associate Member center in Brattleboro, VT in 2012. In 2016 the Center became fully Accredited with NCA under Alyssa's leadership. Alyssa joined NCA in September 2019 as a member of the accreditation team, and assisted with the most recent revision of the Standards for Accredited Centers.  Alyssa provides training and technical assistance to CACs as they navigate the accreditation process.  She is particularly interested in forensic interviewing and vicarious trauma.  


Link to Meeting
05/29/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
05/29/2024 at 12:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes