Information for Referrers


Strengthening Families Programme (SFP 12-16 yrs) is a 14 session family skills training programme for families developed by Dr. Karol L. Kumpfer and associated at the University of Utah in 1982.

SFP has been proved to help build communication skills, family and behaviour management and have fun in the process! It is is designed to give parents and their children the opportunity to learn new, healthy communication skills that create positive relationships within families. These new skills also assist and reduce the risk of young people getting involved in adverse behaviours.

SFP skills are not special skills for deficient families; SFP skills are for all families, but presented in a way to make them accessible to high stress families. All groups are run by facilitators who have trained in SFP and have experience of working with children and families in the community.

How does it work?

  • The group meet for two and a half hours once a week
  • On the evening, three classes are run: parent skills training, teen skills training and family life skills training.
  • Families meet for the first half hour for a community dinner to meet with group leaders and other families in the group.
  • After dinner, for the first hour families separate into two groups for Parents/Caregivers and for Teens.
  • In the second hour, families will join together to discuss and practice skills as a whole group

What the course covers

In the Parents Group, parents will learn new skills to increase better behaviours in their teens through:

  • Attention
  • Rewards
  • Clear communication
  • Substance use education
  • Problem solving
  • Limit setting

In the Teen Group, skills are present on how to:

  • Communicate positively
  • Understand feelings
  • Cope with criticism
  • Manage stress
  • Develop social skills
  • Learn problem solving
  • Deal with peer pressure
  •  Understand the consequences of substance abuse
  • How short term consequences affect long term dreams and goals.

Benefits for Families

  • Increased family quality time
  • Learn better communication skills
  • Coping with anger and criticism
  • Stress management
  • Coping peer pressure
  • Helps to prevent substance abuse, conduct disorders and depression in teens
  • Improve parenting skills and family relationships
  • Incentives for attendance, positive participation, homework completion and graduation.

Weekly Family Support

Through the running of the programme, families will link in on a weekly basis with their Link Person or Referral Agent in order to receive support and guidance around the content of the programme for that week.

A Link Person is a professional that will offer to say in contact with the referred family to cover any material with them, to check their understanding of the programme and try to address any difficulties that are arising within the programme. Referral Agents can and have in the past also acted in this capacity.

Helping your family to attend

Families will receive support with transport and childcare. In addition, a meal is provided every night for all the family to enjoy and meet with other families and group leaders before the session begins.

For more information, please contact:


Click here to download our Overview of the Strengthening Families Programme.

 (Applications are now closed for 2016)


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