strengthening families program


Strengthening Families Program is a 7 or 14 week class for parents and their children, ages 10-16. The 7 week class is designed for parents and youth, ages 10-14 and the 14 week class is designed for parents and youth ages 12-16. SFP is for parents who want to play an active role in their child's life and participate in helping their child achieve success in school and in life.

In the 2-hour classes, parents will learn how to show love while setting limits; youth will develop skills in handling peer pressure and building a positive future; families will grow and have fun together. SFP is a fun, game-filled learning event!

bullet Builds on family strengths
bullet Encourages appreciation for one another
bullet Improves your relationship with your child
bullet Decreases the likelihood of family conflict and risky adolescent behavior
bullet Helps parents and youth agree on ways to get chores done without arguing!
bullet The SFP class uses realistic videos, role-playing, discussions, learning games and family projects. Classes are available in English and Spanish.
bullet Meals are provided at 5:30 with class starting at 6:00 and ending by 8:00 pm.
bullet Child care provided.


For many families, the cost of SFP is paid for by grant funding. For other families, a sliding fee scale is possible.

What do parents say about the program?
bullet “It was fun and moved along quickly.”
bullet “It was great to share amongst the group and to see similarities and difficulties in raising an adolescent.”
bullet “I learned I can be a person too, not just a Mom.”
bullet “I learned I’m not alone, that others have the same or more problems. I understand how to better deal with my child in a more positive way. I appreciate this program!”
bullet “ That following through with consequences and not giving in so easily is OK.”
bullet “I learned to be patient with my child.”


What have kids learned?
bullet “Well, I’ve learned that I’ve got to understand them and respect them and they’ll do the same for me.”
bullet “To slow down when you’re stressed out and mostly not to become stressed out!”
bullet "I’ve learned that my family matters, it’s not all about me.”
bullet “I learned not to give in to peer pressure.”


Extensive research studies have completed with hundreds of families. Compared with families who were not in the program:

bullet Youth had significantly lower rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use.
bullet Youth had significantly fewer conduct problems in school
bullet Parents learned to build a positive relationship with their children, set appropriate limits and follow through on consequences.


Local outcomes of SFP – Results of 2008-2009 evaluation surveys, given to parents and youth at end of 7 week class series:

Youth Item Number reporting “a good bit of the time” or
“most of the time”
Number reporting “a good bit of the time” or
‘”most of the time”
If a friend suggests that we do something that can get us both into trouble, I am able to get out of doing it. 35% 73%
I understand my family’s values and beliefs. 32% 76%
I feel truly loved and respected by my parents. 39% 71%


Parent Item Number reporting “a good bit of the time” or
“most of the time”
Number reporting
“a good bit of the time” or
‘”most of the time”
Wait to deal with problems with my child until I have cooled down. 10% 78%
Let my youth know what the consequences are for breaking rules. 37% 88%
Talk with my child about his or her future goals without criticizing. 41% 93%
Listen to my youth when s/he is upset. 30% 88%
Give compliments and rewards when my child does chores at home or learns to follow rules. 30% 90%


Some national results of SFP 10-14 research
Comparisons between the intervention and control communities showed significantly improved parenting behaviors:

bullet Communicating specific rules and consequences for using substances
Controlling anger when communicating with the child
bullet Positive involvement with the child
bullet Better communication with the child


Students in intervention communities were 58% less likely than students in control communities to report aggressive behavior at follow-up evaluations two and four years later.

Cost Benefits for SFP 10-14
bullet Analysis by the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute found a return of $9.60 for every dollar spent implementing SFP 10-14.
bullet Analysis by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy resulted in two benefits: A return of $7.82 for every dollar spent and a cost benefit of $5,805 for each participating youth in SFP 10-14.


National recognition: SFP has been recognized by the following federal agencies as an evidenced based program increasing the protective factors of youth and their parents:

bullet National 4H Headquarters & Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service
bullet Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
bullet National Institute onDrug Abuse
bullet US Department of Education


For additional evaluation data and a listing of research articles written on SFP please go the home SFP 10-14 website: or

strengthening families program: early intervention and prevention group session:

For males and females, ages 10-14. The series is available in English and Spanish, provides an evening meal each week, childcare for younger siblings and transportation assistance if needed.

Youth Benefits

Youth sessions focus on:

bullet strengthening goal setting
bullet dealing with stress and strong emotions
bullet communication skills
bullet increasing responsible behavior
bullet improving skills to deal with peer pressure.


Parent Benefits

Parent's sessions focus on:

bullet the importance of both nurturing their youth while, at the same time, setting rules, monitoring compliance, and applying appropriate discipline
bullet the importance of both nurturing their youth while, at the same time, setting rules, monitoring compliance, and applying appropriate discipline
bullet topics include making house rules, encouraging good behavior, using consequences, building bridges, and protecting against substance abuse.



Registration and family assessment is required to participate in this class series. To make a referral, contact Margaret Robinson at 336 722-8173 or email:


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