Christian Companion Study Guide to the Strengthening Families Program
The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a 12-week family relationship course for parents and youth that offers skills training to facilitate happy family relationships and protect youth from alcohol, drugs, and delinquency. SFP was originally developed in 1982 under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse by Dr. Karol Kumpfer and associates for substance abusing parents and their children. Her grant assignment was to discover which parenting skills were necessary to keep high-risk youth from following their parents into addiction. Research showed that a family-centered approach (teaching skills to both parents and youth and having them practice together in class) provided the most positive outcomes long-term. SFP is now taught in 36 countries and has been tested in 13 Randomized Control Trials, and found effective.
Why a Christian Companion to SFP?
This SFP “Christian Companion Study Guide” was created at the request of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator of the United Methodist Church who adopted SFP as part of their health education program to prevent addiction and child abuse. He recognized that although SFP is a secular program, the prosocial skills to improve family relationships and help youth avoid alcohol and drugs taught in SFP coincided well with certain teachings of Jesus Christ. He reasoned that seeing a connection between SFP skills and the scriptures might help families feel more motivated to practice the skills. This would lower their addiction risks, improve their health and family relationships, and perhaps to enable them to better live Christ’s teaching. To make it easily available, we are accommodating the request to include it here. We are indebted to Rev. Wes Hartley and Rev. Jeffrey Spence for their contributions.
You can download the Christian Companion Study Guide here. It can be re-printed and distributed as needed; but not sold for profit.