On February 13 CIS CC launched its first session of the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) at Chatham Middle School in Siler City. SFP 10-14 was originally developed as part of Project Family at the Center for Family Research at Iowa State University.
SFP 10-14 is a seven-session program focused on reducing family-related risk factors for adolescent problem behaviors and building protective factors in young adolescent children and their parents or caregivers.
The SFP 10-14 programs includes specific activities designed to:
- help parents/caregivers learn nurturing skills that support their children
- teach parents/caregivers how to effectively discipline and guide their children
- give youth a healthy future orientation and an increased appreciation of their parents/caregivers
- teach youth skills for dealing with stress and peer pressure
CIS CC’s SFP 10-14 is serving 8 local families and is conducted in Spanish for the adults and in English for the youth. An evening meal is shared by all participants giving the group an opportunity to get to know one another and to discuss common experiences. As one parent put it after attending the first two sessions, “It is important to have a strong family and family rules!”
Specially trained facilitators lead the weekly sessions and provide guidance. Facilitators undergo 3-day training that helps ensure program fidelity, making it more likely that there will be positive outcomes for youth and parents. Facilitators learn about the background, evaluation, goals, and content of the program as well as practice facilitating sessions. Training is interactive with facilitators taking part in all activities. Training also includes information on practical considerations for implementing SFP 10-14 such as recruiting families, handling challenging participants, and options for providing child care, transportation, food, and incentives. Currently, CIS CC has 3 trained facilitators and several substitutes on staff.
CIS CC is partnering with the Family Violence & Rape Crisis Services agency and with the Chatham County Department of Social Services to provide training for the families and their children. Chatham Middle School provides the training space and supports CIS CC with the cost of meal preparation. The current program meets weekly from February 13-March 27.