Strengthening Families« Back to list
|Category||Type||Target Age Group||Setting||Outcomes||Source of Rating|
|Promising Programs||Substance Abuse||
||Lower rates of alcohol initiation
30-60% relative reductions in alcohol use and being drunk
The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for high-risk 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.
SFP was developed and found effective on a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) research grant in the early 1980s. More than 15 subsequent independent replications have found similar positive results with families in many different ethnic groups. Both culturally adapted versions and the core version of SFP have been found effective with African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and First Nations families.
The Strengthening Families Program is a 14-session, science-based parenting skills, children's life skills, and family life skills training program specifically designed for high-risk families. Parents and children participate in SFP, both separately and together. Group Leader Manuals contain a complete lesson for every session. Parents' and children's Handbooks/ Handouts are also provided for every session.
6th grade students and their families
For more Information or to find Technical Assistance, visit:
Iowa State University, University Extension
References and/or Published Evaluations
Both post-test evaluations of family processes and follow-up studies of individual substance use have demonstrated positive effects for SFP families and adolescents, compared to control groups. At post-test, SFP participants showed:
- Improved child management practices, including monitoring, discipline, and standard setting;
- Increased parent-child communication;
- More child involvement in family activities and decisions; and
- Strengthened family affective quality.
One- and two-year follow-up analyses revealed that participating adolescents had:
- Lower rates of alcohol initiation at both years; and
- 30-60% relative reductions in alcohol use, using without parents’ permission, and being drunk.
Spoth, R., Redmond, C., & Lepper, H. (1999). Alcohol Initiation Outcomes of Universal Family-Focused Preventive Interventions: One- and Two-Year Follow-Ups of a Controlled Study. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 13, 103-111.
Spoth, R., Redmond, C., & Shin, C. (1998). Direct and Indirect Latent-Variable Parenting Outcomes of Two Universal Family-Focused Preventive Interventions: Extending a Public Health-Oriented Research Base. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(2), 385-399.
Spoth, R.L., Redmond, C., & Shin, C. (2000, December). Reducing Adolescents' Aggressive and Hostile Behaviors: Randomized Trial Effects of a Brief Family Intervention 4 Years Past Baseline. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 154(12), 1248-1257.
Spoth, R., Reyes, M.L., Redmond, C., & Shin, C. (1999, October). Assessing a Public Health Approach to Delay Onset and Progression of Adolescent Substance Use: Latent Transition and Log-Linear Analyses of Longitudinal Family Preventive Intervention Outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(5), 619-630.
Provided by www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org, October 2010
- Has this program been replicated at other sites? If so, how many and where are they?
For more than twenty years, SFP has been implemented in schools, drug treatment centers, family and youth service agencies, child protection and foster care agencies, community mental health centers, housing projects, homeless shelters, churches, and drug courts and prisons.
- Is there a formal curriculum or program guidelines in place? What kind of training and technical assistance is available for this program? What is the approximate cost for these materials?
Training of SFP group leaders by SFP-certified trainers and technical assistance for implementation, including evaluation, are coordinated by LutraGroup SP. Contact Dr. Henry O. Whiteside, Managing Partner, (801) 583-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fees are $3,650 for a two-day SFP group leader training for up to 35 trainees. Reduced fees for smaller groups are available in some circumstances. The training fee includes one copy of a SFP master set of course materials on CD for one age-variant and limited site license to reproduce copies for the agency's own use. Two trainers' travel expenses, lodging, and per diem of $40 are reimbursable in addition to the training fee. SFP training teams typically include a woman and a man and reflect the ethnicity of the trainees and families to be served. Training in the United States is available in English and in Spanish, but only SFP6-11 Parent Handouts are currently available in Spanish. The training fee includes some technical assistance in implementation.
Opportunities to qualify as SFP trainers (qualified and authorized to train group leaders to deliver SFP to families) are also periodically available
Minimum staffing to implement SFP requires five trained staff: two group leaders for the parents, two for children or teens, and a site coordinator. If your budget is limited and the number to be trained is small, you may be able to send your trainees to a training already scheduled to be hosted by another agency. LutraGroup will help you locate other trainings, but the terms and costs are negotiated directly with the host agency. Finding a training in your region to meet your schedule is often difficult, however, and travel costs for trainees often more than offset cost savings of joining another training.
SFP group leader trainings include both instruction and participation by trainees and include:
- Conceptual basis and origins of SFP
- Overall structure and operation of SFP
- Overview of the parent, child, and family curriculums
- Simulation experience delivering sessions from parent, child, and family courses
- Recruiting and retaining families and decreasing attrition
- Administering evaluation instruments
- Dealing with ethical and legal problems; handling crisis; providing referrals
- Group leading skills
- Conceptual basis and origins of SFP
- Once the program has been implemented, can an organization obtain assistance with fidelity monitoring or quality assurance? Can an organization obtain assistance with data collection or measurement of outcomes?
For detailed information on how to conduct an evaluation of the Strengthening Families Program, go to the Strengthening Families web site at www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org and click on “Program Evaluation” from the list at the left.
Technical assistance can be obtained from LutraGroup SP. Evaluation of SFP implementations, offered through LutraGroup SP, is comprehensive, normed against a national data base and extremely cost-competitive. All evaluations are supervised by the program developer and data is entered, analyzed and evaluated by staff at the Strengthening Families Program national office. A follow-up on-site visit once implementation has begun is often helpful in assuring fidelity and program effectiveness