Strengthening Families

Strengthening Families

The Strengthening Families Program is for families with children aged 6-16 years old. Daycare will be provided for children younger than five years old.

The overall goal of the Strengthening Families Program is to increase family bonding, family strengths and resilience and to reduce risk factors by improving family communication, positive parenting skills, school performance and parent and child relationships.

What makes the SFP one of the most powerful programs available is because it focuses not on children or parents individually, but rather the whole family as an entity. Having been developed specifically for children of drug and alcohol abusing parents, it has proven to be highly effective in reducing conduct problems and improving family relations through trial studies (Kumpfer, etc. Al, 2002). The program was founded on the belief that in order to reduce risk factors, the family environment and parent’s abilities to nurture and provide appropriate learning opportunities for their children must first be improved.

During the 11 week program, parents will learn appropriate development expectations, knowledge of appropriate child rearing and child behavioral management principles, alcohol and drug risk and protective factors, and how to foster positive familial relationships.

The children will learn positive pro-social skills such as resistance to peer pressure, getting along better with family members and peers, discussing topics politely, sharing feelings without making others upset, and problem solving for within the community and in the home.

Each week during the first hour, families will share a meal together. During the second hour, adults and children will meet in separate rooms to build positive pro-social skills. The families will reconvene in the final hour to work together on family support skills, cultural sharing, and fun activities that improve relationships between parents and their children. Incentives will be incorporated to help families learn and build on their strengths and reach their goals.

Please note: Families are referred by VACFSS Family Preservation and Child Protection Services.  Referrals are screened to meet program criteria.


Objectives of the Strengthening Families Program


  • Children’s alcohol, tobacco & drug use
  • Intentions to use
  • Delinquency
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • AIDS
  • School dropout
  • Poor life adjustment

Children’s Intermediate Risk Factors:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Social problems
  • Emotional problems
  • School problems

Increase Parents Knowledge of:

  • Appropriate child rearing
  • Supervision
  • Relationship skills
  • Alcohol and drug risk and
  • Protective factors,
  • Appropriate developmental expectations

Improve Protection Factors:

  • Coping skills
  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Academic skills
  • Family relations
  • Parenting skills
  • Supervisions skills