The original Strengthening Families Program (SFP 6-11) was created in 1984 for high-risk “selected or indicated” children ages 6 to 11 and their families. Growing requests led in 2004 to SFP12-16, an adaptation of SFP for high-risk teens. Resilience lessons on dreams and goals from SFP10-14 for general/universal populations were retained and adapted for higher risk youth. This program was tested on a SAMHSA/CSAT grant with youth in foster care and residential drug treatment in multiple sites in New Mexico and Utah. The Trimbos Institute also tested SFP12-16 for youth in residential drug treatment in multiple sites in the Netherlands and found positive outcomes similar to SFP6-11. A recent analysis of results in Ireland showed even larger effectiveness (effect sizes averaging d = .80) in their population of indicated youth involved in probation or mental health services. Implementations in Canada, Italy, and Thailand are expected to produce publishable results.

Core skills of SFP12-16 for parents and teens are essentially the same as in SFP6-11, but presentation, exercises, and language have been adapted for early teens. A lesson preparing parents and teens to talk about relationships and sexuality has also been added. Because teens have a more nearly adult understanding, parents and teens usually work on the same or similar skills in each session (compared to roughly half the sessions in SFP3-5 and SFP6-11).

SFP12-16 returns frequently to the theme of helping teens identify their goals and dreams and helping parents support pursuing those goals. Peer resistance skills also receive expanded treatment in SFP12-16. Peer resistance is presented as encouraging teens to make their own choices, determining what they will do and who they will be.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *