U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Family Skills Training for Parents and Children

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2000
12 pages
This Bulletin features the Strengthening Families Program (SFP), which reflects research in the most effective interventions for building parent, child, and family skills.
Originally designed as a drug abuse prevention program to help drug-abusing parents and their children, the SFP has developed into a family change program that has served the needs of culturally and geographically diverse families and their children across the Nation. SFP is presented in 14 consecutive weekly sessions, each approximately 2 hours long. The program has two versions: SFP for elementary school children and their families and SFP for parents and youth 10 to 14 years old. Each version includes skills training for parents, children, and families. Parents and children meet together at the beginning of each session for announcements, and some programs provide a snack or a small meal. Following this group time, parents and children spend the first hour in their respective groups. They spend the second hour together in family skills training. This Bulletin outlines the components of parent skills training, children's skills training, and family skills training. The SFP has been evaluated in 12 research studies by independent evaluators. Positive effects have been found for alcohol-abusing and drug-abusing families. Research shows similar effective results with several different ethnic groups. Implementation suggestions focus on recruiting and retaining high-risk families; program site, location, and group size; and the training of facilitators. 28 references

Date Published: April 1, 2000