Frequently Asked Questions

Can I purchase and use the SFP curriculum without a training?

Yes, you can. However, a training makes it easier to set up a site to teach SFP, and the Family Coach training allows actual practice teaching time of the lessons, as well as suggestions on how to recruit, retain families, and motivate them to change. See the two different Training Agendas under the TRAINING tab.

Do the SFP facilitators need advanced degrees in a social science?

No. While a college degree in social science or teaching is preferred, it is not necessary. What is necessary is a person with a charismatic personality, who enjoys teaching and can genuinely relate to both parents and youth. We also want a person who is willing to live and put in practice the SFP concepts and skills he/she is teaching.

If I schedule a training, does the SFP curriculum come with it?

Yes, a curriculum CD or flash-drive with one SFP version in one language comes free with the training. Additional versions can be purchased for a reduced rate of $300 if a training is completed.

How long does the training last?

SFP trainings are two days long – usually 9-5. See the different training agendas under the Training Tab. THE EXCEPTION: If you are going to be using the SFP videos and the SFP DVD Family Discussion Guide instead of the full-class curriculum, and you are training 10 or fewer people, and they are willing to complete 6 hours of pre-training assignments before the training begins and bring their completed written assignments to the training, you could qualify for a 1-day training.

How can we teach SFP skills if we don’t have funding to pay 4 or 6 facilitators?

Although not ideal, you can teach SFP skills by training the parents and youth in the same classroom together using the SFP Home-Use DVD/videos and two facilitators. There is a SFP DVD Discussion Guide that takes you through each lessons, telling you where to pause the video, what questions to ask, and what skills the families are to practice together. In two different trials the results were nearly as good as the SFP Group Norms, (a data base of over 5000 families who have taken the regular SFP classes).

How can the SFP 7-17 curriculum (which has 11 main lessons) be taught in 10, 12, or 14 weeks??

We consider 11 or 12 lessons the best dosage SFP 7-17. However, if an agency is only funded for 10 weeks, then Lesson 8 and 9 can be combined and taught in one lesson period, making 10 weeks. It is not ideal – but it is doable as both lessons deal with alcohol and drugs and how to keep children from using. There are also three Booster sessions with SFP 7-17, which would take the class sessions up to 14 weeks, if that is what your population needed.

What are the differences Between the Original Strengthening Families Program Versions (ages 6-11 and 12-16) and the new SFP 7-17 Version (See the Comparison Chart)

  1. We changed the order of the youth lessons so that each week the subject matter and skills are always the same as the parent lessons. This facilitates families’ ability to discuss the concepts and practice the skills together at home.
  2. We combined the best parenting skills in SFP 6-11 and 12-16 into one parenting model. (There are class lessons for Parents, Teens, Children, and the Family Practice Session.)
  3. We changed the lesson order slightly so each skill builds on the previous one. (e.g. We moved Communication and Family Meeting to Lesson 2. We moved the discipline lessons to #4 so that parents would have more time to perfect that skill before the class ends. We moved the Problem Solving lesson 5 so it comes before Anger Management.)
  4. We added information on how the brain develops (so youth would value it), and how repeated skill practice increases the density of the encoding brain neurons, which helps make the SFP skills become new habit patterns. This helps coaches, parents and youth better understand the value of practicing the skills at home.
  5. We added information on Anger Management, including ways to track anger triggers and cues, and cool anger reactions with new pre-determined (and practiced) responses.
  6. We added information on Mindfulness training, which increases emotional regulation, ability to focus attention, and provides a fun and easy coping mechanism for anxiety.
  7. We added more information on alcohol and marijuana brain damage, and included in the SFP videos prominent scientists showing that damage in their brain scans.
  8. The Family Session in SFP 7-17 focuses more on parent-child skill practice instead of games.
  9. We updated Handouts and added many new ones.
  10. We added video clips from the SFP Home-Use DVD to the class lessons to show the SFP skills in action.
  11. We changed the name of the SFP facilitator from a “Group Leader” to a “Family Coach” and added more information to the SFP 7-17 Family Coach Training agenda, including the “SFP 12-Step Teaching Model” and the “15 Essential Qualities of a Good SFP Family Coach” to help facilitators teach in a way that motivates people to change behavior.