Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14



  • Beth Fleming Billings, Master Trainer, Iowa State University
  • Janet Brown, Master Trainer, Iowa State University


Discussion Forum:

Post training work:
  • April 3, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST
  • May 22, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST
  • June 14, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST
  • July 19, 2012, 3-4:00 pm EST


The Strengthening Families Program (SFP 10-14) is a parent, youth, and family skills-building curriculum designed to prevent teen substance abuse and other behavior problems, strengthen parenting skills, and build family strengths. The program is delivered with seven sessions for parents, youth (10-14 years old), and families using realistic videos, role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects. In addition to schools and prevention agencies, other groups have successfully used the program, including churches, Native American groups, Asian families (Hmong), Hispanic groups, including non-English speaking parents, and families with mental health problems. 

SFP 10-14 has been proven effective in
  • delaying the onset of adolescent substance use,
  • lowering levels of aggression
  • increasing the resistance to peer pressure in youth
  • increasing the ability of parents/caregivers to set appropriate limits and show affection to and support of their children
Special features
  • designed and used with ethnically diverse families in rural and urban settings
  • scientifically evaluated and shown to be effective


Organizational/Community teams (up to 5) of behavioral health facilitators, administrators, coordinators, and community partners (e.g., education, faith-based). Three group facilitators/leaders are needed: one for the parent sessions and two for the youth sessions. A community member who knows the families to help in one-on-one outreach is suggested. Preference will be given to organizations including 3 facilitators, coordinator, and at least one community member.  


  • Participants will learn about the background, evaluation, goals, and content of SFP 10-14.
  • Participants will consider practical considerations for implementing SFP 10-14, such as recruiting families and handling challenging parents and youth during program sessions.

Agency Implementation Requirements:

The agency should expect to secure some funding for program expenses. While kept to a minimum, these can cover facilitator honoraria (if not agency staff), child care, food, incentives, transportation and materials cost. Materials for activities are about $14 per family. Trainers will provide information on several agencies that have been able to bill Medicaid for SFP 10-14 services. 


Please review the Strengthening Families Program website for additional implementation requirements. 

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