The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for high-risk and regular families. SFP is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social competencies and school performance. Child maltreatment also decreases as parents strengthen bonds with their children and learn more effective parenting skills.
Strengthening Families is offered to kids ages 10 to 14 and their parents. It consists of parenting skills, children's life skills, and family skills training courses taught together in seven (7) sessions. Each session is 2 hours long. The first hour includes a kids’ session and a parents’ session which happen separately. The second hour is a session in which families are together.
The parenting sessions review appropriate developmental expectations, teach parents to interact positively with children (such as showing enthusiasm and attention for good behavior and letting the child take the lead in play activities, increasing attention and praise for positive children's behaviors, positive family communication including active listening and reducing criticism and sarcasm, family meetings to improve order and organization, and effective and consistent discipline.
The children's skills training content includes communication skills to improve parents, peers, and teacher relationships, hopes and dreams, resilience skills, problems solving, peer resistance, feeling identification, anger management and coping skills.
The family practice sessions allow the parents and children time to practice what they learned in their individual sessions in experiential exercises. This is also a time for the group leaders to coach and encourage family members for improvements in parent/child interactions. Home practice assignments improve generalization of new behaviors at home.