The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and
family strengthening program for 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.
The original 14-session evidence-based SFP for high-risk families with children ages 6 to 11 years
(SFP6-11) was developed and tested in the mid 1980s by Dr. Karol L. Kumpfer on a NIDA research
grant with children of substance-abusing parents. Subsequent randomized control trials (RCTs) 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. SFP is in 36 countries.
In the early 1990's, Drs. Kumpfer and Molgaard, Co-PIs on an Iowa State University grant, developed
a shorter 7-session version for low-risk families with pre- and early teens (SFP10-14). In the 2000s
new 14-session versions for high-risk families with both younger children (SFP3-5) and early teens
(SFP12-16) were developed by Drs. Kumpfer and Whiteside and replicated in multiple agencies in the
USA and Europe with better results than the research RCT studies (Kumpfer, Greene, Whiteside &
Allen, 2010, Kumpfer, Xie, & O'Driscoll, 2012; Magalh„es, C. & Kumpfer, K. L, 2015).
In order to make SFP skills available to every family, in 2011 a new low-cost SFP Home-Use DVD and Online courses, for ages 7-17 was developed by Dr. Karol Kumpfer and Jaynie Brown. Sold for $5 each through the Strengthening Families Foundation, the DVD or Online lessons are for parents and children to watch together at home. They have ten 30-minute SFP lessons, plus an Intro segment that discusses how the teen brain develops. Handouts can be printed off the DVD or from the website once you purchase the lessons. It can also be used in a clinic or agency setting with a trained Discussion Leader or Family Coach. It has also been used as part of the Middle School Health Class curriculum with parent-child Homework assignments, and helped lower 8th grade binge drinking 50% in one year. To order, click on the Home-Use DVD page, or on the DVD icon above right.
A new group class curriculum (SFP7-17) that corresponds with the SFP Home-Use DVD was also developed and has been pilot tested over 30 times with high risk families with excellent results that are equivalent to the prior tested SFP versions (Kumpfer & Brown, 2011). The curriculum can be taught in 10, 12, or 14 sessions depending on family risk factors. This new universal version of SFP has lessons for Parents, Children, Teens, and a Family Practice session. It teaches the same research-proven skills as the original SFP, with added material on Mindfulness, the impact of alcohol and drugs on the developing teen brain and the parenting skills needed to prevent it. To order, click on the ORDER page.
Contact information is available here, on the Contact Page.