Sabina Higgins to launch “Family Effects: Strengthening Families Programme 10 Year Outcomes in Ireland” on 23rd March 2018

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Sabina Higgins will launch “Family Effects: Strengthening Families Programme 10 Year Outcomes in Ireland” on 23rd March at Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun, Dublin.  The National Strengthening Families Programme Council of Ireland’s report sets out the national evidence of the positive impact of the programme on the lives of parents and children. 

The Strengthening Families Programme (SFP) is a 14 week, “whole family”, evidence-based skills programme developed in the US in 1982 that is now delivered in 36 countries.  Unlike other family support programmes, SFP works with parents and children as a unit, this whole-family approach has proven to significantly improve the outcomes for families.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Donna Butler, Chair of the National SFP Council of Ireland, outlined why the report is so important.  “This report brings together data from programmes delivered by member organisations across Ireland.  We’re delighted to see the data prove that SFP consistently delivers significant improvements in the lives of families who take part.  When a family joins the programme they’re often trying to deal with more than one challenge.  Our analysis of ten years of results clearly shows that families leave the programme better able to cope and with skills they can use when facing difficult periods. Most importantly, that’s a great outcome for the family, but also a strong endorsement of the Strengthening Families Programme for all the partners involved.” 

It is over ten years since the first programme was delivered in Cork.   The National SFP Council of Ireland was set up in 2012 to foster inter-regional collaboration, promote quality standards, and share learning across Ireland.  “We’re delighted that the report shows the programme is supporting families to build the skills necessary for the challenges facing family life. By taking part in the programme, families build stronger relationships, develop better coping and improved communication to deal with difficulties families confront.  This report gives agencies the impact evidence they need to continue supporting or funding ‘Strengthening Families Programmes’ in their communities.”

The Strengthening Families Programme focuses on equipping parents and children with the skills that will support them long into the future.  Parents develop communication skills, giving direction, managing stress, relationships, peer pressure, substance use education, problem solving and setting limits.  In the Teens programme (12-16 years) they learn to communicate positively, understand feelings, cope with criticism, manage stress, develop social skills, problem solve, resist peer pressure, understand the consequences of substance abuse and understand short term consequences and long-term goals. In the 6-11 years programme the children learn similar skills appropriate to their age.

The launch event will take place on 23rd March, from 11am-1pm, in Axis Art Centre and Theatre, Ballymun, Dublin.  Anyone interested in attending can book their place through Eventbrite

The report will be available on this website after the launch.

Author: roisin

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