The Strengthening Families Program :
Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is an evidence-based family skills training program for high-risk and general population families that is recognized both nationally and internationally. Parents and youth attend weekly SFP skills classes together, learning parenting skills and youth life and refusal skills. They have separate class training for parents and youth the first hour, followed by a joint family practice session.
WHY SFP WORKS
SFP is effective because it was specifically crafted to increase Protective Factors and reduce the Risk Factors that lead to both substance abuse and youth depression.
SFP teaches–and has parents and youth practice–skills involved in bonding (creating warm, loving relationships), setting clear, firm boundaries (rules against antisocial behavior, including drug and alcohol use), and monitoring their children’s emotional well-being and activities to see that they always stay in an alcohol and drug-free social environment.
Skill practice creates new prosocial habit patterns in the brain, which helps improve behavior, strengthens the parent-child relationship, and helps a child feel loved.
SFP thus produces micro-environmental changes in a young person’s life that make use of addictive substances very costly in terms of losing parental approval and also losing privileges. Teen substance use thus decreases.
Child maltreatment also decreases as parents learn better parenting skills, and practice stress and anger management techniques.
SFP is now being tested for the prevention of child abuse as an evidence-based program in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) grants to several states and tribes.
TOP PREVENTION TOOL
SFP is also widely used as a universal primary prevention intervention as communities, schools, and churches offer SFP classes or SFP DVD Family Discussion Groups in the evenings. By inviting all families, they also attract high-risk families without making them feel stigmatized