Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions apply to most RIP sites; however, you can contact the RIP nearest you to get additional information, specific to that RIP site.

How much does it cost to enroll in RIP?  
Because, RIP is funded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, there are no fees associated with RIP—our services are free of charge to families. The Phase II:  Payback Treatment is considered a continuation of skills learned in Phase I:  Active Treatment. It also serves as a way in which families “give back” to the program.

What kinds of behaviors are addressed at RIP?  
Behaviors seen at RIP can range from mild to severe—meaning it’s become difficult to manage daily life due to these behaviors. The behaviors commonly seen at RIP are things like defiance, separation anxiety, aggression towards others, tantrums, not following instructions, etc.

Is RIP a good fit for me and my family?  
All of us can improve our skills in dealing with children's behaviors, but it is a family's decision.  Families who have seen the benefit feel it's worth the time commitment.  Some questions to consider are:  How long has the behavior been happening? Have you tried several discipline approaches, without success? Have you changed your routine to avoid certain behavior(s)-for instance, have you stopped eating out or taking your child to the store? By equipping families with techniques to deal with behaviors, they can support their children in being successful in school and in life for years to come.

How long is the waiting list?
The waiting list varies for each RIP site, and you can contact a RIP site directly for more details. In general, evening programs often have a longer waiting list than morning programs.

What do I do in the meantime, while waiting to get into RIP?
The RIP approach recognizes that the most powerful and effective way to change behavior is through "parent implementation". This means practicing techniques and strategies in various settings, not just at RIP.  If your family is placed on the waiting list, RIP staff can help you access other resources for support while you wait to enroll in the program.

How long does RIP take?  
Each family’s needs are different, but typically families can expect between 6-9 months to complete the program. Factors that affect length include attendance, parent participation, etc. It is also important to keep in mind that behaviors develop over time, so it takes time to see changes in behavior- it often gets worse before it gets better. Your RIP team will support you through this process. 


What will my child be doing while at RIP?  
Children participate in RIP classrooms during program time. Classrooms are activity-based and provide the opportunity to practice appropriate behaviors in a classroom environment similar to other early childhood settings.  Classroom activities include art, story time, circle time, group activities, facilitated toy play, and snack.

What will I (the parent/guardian) be doing while at RIP?  
At RIP, case managers are parents that have been through the program with their own child. From the first day at RIP, each family is scheduled to meet with their assigned case manager. Parents work toward specific family goals, which will include meetings with their case manager and sessions with their child.  Adults will also learn how the classrooms function by going through classroom training and social skills training.  First families observe, then assist as a co-teacher, and eventually become one of the lead teachers in the classrooms. Because RIP is a parent-implemented program, there are a variety of opportunities to connect with other parents during Phase II: Payback Treatment.

I have more than one child, so can they come to RIP too?
Often times, a child’s challenging behavior can impact other children in the home. Siblings under the age of 6 at the time your family gets on the waiting list are also eligible to participate in RIP.  Please note, most RIP sites do not have a nursery, so children must be independently walking in order to participate in RIP. 

What if I am anxious about working as a teacher in the RIP classrooms?  
Each attending parent/caregiver will receive class training before being placed in the role of a classroom teacher.  RIP classrooms provide opportunities to practice implementing RIP techniques in a safe environment.  RIP staff and payback parents are available to coach parents through the classroom situations and will also assist as needed.

Will I be working in the classroom with my own child?  If not, who will be?
Parents often work in classrooms with other children, so they can practice the skills they are learning. Later in the program, parents work with their own child in the classroom. RIP staff sometimes work in the classrooms and will be circulating throughout the building to provide support to families. Because safety is a priority, all adults (staff, parents, interns, etc.) must pass multiple Offender Registry checks before working in the classrooms. 

What if my child’s behavior worsens because they are seeing other children misbehave?  
That’s a normal concern from many parents. Typically, as positive reinforcement techniques are applied, we begin to see a decrease in less desirable behaviors from all of the children. Just as families support each other in learning new skills, children are helping each other learn appropriate behaviors.

What if my child's behavior problems are only in school-how will RIP help with behavior problems in that setting?
Families that come to RIP are experiencing a wide range of behaviors, often in different settings. At RIP, our classrooms are designed to help children learn how to follow directions, make good behavior choices, and get along with others. Once these skills are learned and practiced at RIP, these skills are often generalized to other settings-like school. Families can also request Childcare/School Intervention Services, which allow RIP staff to support parents with specific school concerns.

What is the approach RIP uses to affect behavior change?
While RIP has some similarities to other parenting approaches, it is a specifically-designed model for young children and families with years of research and data to support its effectiveness. Click here to learn more about the RIP approach to behavior change.

Will my child learn better behavioral skills or will I just learn to handle his behavior better?
Actually, both. While children are increasing their appropriate behaviors and reducing challenging behaviors, you will be learning how to effectively support this process while increasing your overall confidence as a parent/guardian.

What is your attendance policy?
RIP is a significant time commitment, and we ask all families sign a participation agreement at an enrollment visit. We expect consistent attendance during treatment with a maximum of 5 absences allotted in each phase of treatment, which allows for necessary absences such as having a sick child. We know circumstances sometimes keep families from attending such as the birth of another child, planned vacation, etc. We ask families to let their RIP team know in as much in advance as possible, so they can plan accordingly.

If for some reason I can’t make it, can I send someone else with the child?
RIP requires that a primary adult attends program regularly, because we follow a training schedule to support optimal treatment benefit. Additional adults can attend with the primary adult, but we ask that families let their RIP team know in advance. Because safety is a priority, all adults (staff, parents, interns, etc.) must pass multiple Offender Registry checks before working in the classrooms.

If we decide we no longer want to participate in RIP or it's not a good time for our family, is there a penalty for leaving the program?
RIP is a voluntary program. We ask that families communicate any concerns they have with their RIP team. If a family leaves before completing the program, they can re-enroll, as long as they still meet the eligibility criteria at the time of the request.