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Strengthening Families Program

Strengthening Families Program 10-14

in Adams County

The Center For Youth and Community Development/Collaborating For Youth (CFY) has been offering the Strengthening Families Program curriculum throughout Adams County since 2010.

Why is the Strengthening Families Program Needed?

Youth entering the teen years may experience new stressors, such as new schools, new friendships, and new peer influences.  They also have a more demanding school curriculum, increased homework, added responsibilities, and increased opportunities for independent decision-making.  In addition, youth are exposed to many media influences and often confusing messages from TV and the Internet.  During this time of growth and transition, it is important to strengthen family bonds and to help youth learn skills to handle the new challenges and to make healthy decisions.


Why Does the Strengthening Families Program Work?

The Strengthening Families Program is an exciting opportunity for families because the program gives families a chance to spend quality time together while learning new skills through games and fun, interactive activities.   Parents and youth attend one evening per week for seven weeks and have lots of fun together while learning ways to promote family bonding, to keep the lines of family communication open, and to use family strengths to solve problems together.  Youth spend the first half of each session together learning about topics such as empathy, how to deal with stress, and peer pressure resistance. Parents meet separately for the first half to discuss parenting strategies and how to guide their youth in setting goals, making good decisions, and fulfilling responsibilities.  The second half of each session is spent together working on FUN family activities that promote strong family relationships.  See promotional video by Iowa State University.



Research shows that a strong bond with a caring adult is one of the most powerful influences on the growth of a child into a responsible, caring, and competent young adult. Parents or caregivers genuinely desire the best for their children.  Yet, as their child enters the teenage years, the transitions and developmental changes, often pose new challenges for the family.


The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) for parents and youth (age 10-14) is one of the very best of its kind in the country and is recognized as a scientifically proven effective program by many national agencies, such as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, the US Department of Education, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Strengthening Families has also received global acclaim and has been recognized by a World Health Organization sponsored review by the Cochrane Collaboration as the best program available for substance use prevention.  The program allows parents to protect and empower their children through communication of family values, their standards regarding substance use, and their hopes for their child’s future.


Seven-Week Programs

Participating families will attend sessions once a week for 7 weeks. After the seven weeks, families who attended a minimum of 5 sessions will received a Graduation Certificate. 

Booster Sessions

Four additional sessions are available to families who have graduated from the program three to six months prior.  Families can attend all four sessions or those of their choosing. Invitations are automatically sent to eligible families.


For more information about our upcoming sessions

and locations, please, call 717-338-0300 x201

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