Strengthening Families Program
National Youth Advocate Program, South Carolina is excited to announce the addition of the Strengthening Families Program to our array of services. We are extremely grateful to Children’s Trust of South Carolina for their investment in families and we are honored to have been selected to partner with them in this important work in Charleston County.
This 14-week program strengthens families by providing parents information and tools proven to enhance parenting skills and family bonds and is provided free-of-charge to parents.
The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for both high-risk and general population families. SFP is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly improve parenting skills and family relationships, 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.
While the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) serves families with children in multiple different age groups including ages 3-5; and 12-16; we will be focusing our classes for families with elementary school children ages 6 to 11.
Participants complete a 14-session program. The sessions, which always begin with a family meal, typically last 2 hours and include parents and children meeting separately to work with group leaders before coming together for shared activities to finish. Participants who successfully complete the 14-session program graduate in a celebratory style.
SFP sessions include all the critical core components of effective evidence-based parenting programs (CDC, 2008) including: parent and child practice time in the family sessions learning positive interactions, communication, and effective discipline. The parenting sessions review appropriate developmental expectations, teach parents to interact positively with children, positive family communication including active listening and reducing criticism and sarcasm, family meetings to improve order and organization, and consistent and effective discipline including reasonable and logical consequences and time-outs.
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, dealing with criticism, anger management and coping skills.
The family sessions allow the parents and children 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. SFP also includes group practice in problem solving and anger management. Home practice assignments of these skills improve generalization of new behaviors at home.