What is the Strengthening Families Programme?

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      SFP is a 14 week skills-based programme for families with children or teenagers to help build positive relationships.
      It was developed in the USA in 1982 and can now be found in more than 35 countries.
      It is a 3 skills programme that focuses on parent skills; child/teen skills; and family skills.
      Families of all different shapes and sizes can apply to the programme. Any adult who takes a parenting role with a young person can be considered a “parent”.

Extensive research has found that found that families experience a lot of improvements and benefits:

      Parent Skills
      Increases positive parenting skills and confidence; monitoring and supervision

          Child/Teen Skills Improves communication, problem solving and anger and behavioural control.

              Family Skills Improves family attachment/bonding, harmony, communication, organization, family strengths and resilience.

              How does my family apply?

                  • To find an SFP in your area click here
                  • Your SFP area may provide a programme for teenagers (12-16 years) or for children (6-12 years) or both.
                  • Your local SFP Site Coordinator can answer any questions you may have.

              What happens on an SFP day?

                • SFP usually takes place in the evening time (approximately 6pm – 8:30pm).
                • Transport and childcare can be provided if needed.
                • Dinner is provided for all families.
                • An SFP Team, made up of local agencies and volunteers will support you and your family in your SFP journey. Parents and teens are divided into groups and are assigned Group Leaders.
                • Other families will also take part in SFP over the 14 weeks.
                • The Site Coordinator will discuss policies around confidentiality, health and safety, sharing of information, etc.
                • On completion of your 14 weeks, there is a fun graduation ceremony for all the family!



              SFP Skills

              ParentsAll Parents

                      • Encouraging Good Behaviour
                      • Family meetings
                      • Communication skills
                      • Handling peer pressure
                      • Managing stress
                      • Problem solving and giving direction
                      • Setting limits

              Teens12-16 years

                      • Speaking and listening skills
                      • Staying cool in conflicts
                      • Speaking up for yourself
                      • Being who you want to be
                      • Problem solving
                      • Coping with criticism and anger
                      • Relationships and Drugs and alcohol

              Children6-12 years

                      • Speaking and listening skills
                      • Communication & Problem solving
                      • Parents Practice
                      • Childs game
                      • Understanding rewards
                      • Recognising feelings
                      • Alcohol & Tobacco


              I done the programme before my junior cert so I think doing the programme helped me not get so stressed out and I got 10 honours for my results. I learned to not interrupt people when they are having a conversation and let them speak and wait until they are finished. I learned to have eye contact with someone when you are listening to them

              I didn’t think it was going to help because everyone was always arguing before and now we talk to each other. We don’t argue anymore. It is a lot quieter house now (young person)

              It helps you cop on more. If someone is messing with you, just step away and don’t get in trouble because someone is acting the eejit (young person)

              I would like to thank the Family Strengthening Group for bringing my family back together as a family

              When we’re angry, we dont shout, we talk

              I like the way we learned how to deal with things

              Coming here made it easier to talk about issues

              I can listen to my child more without shouting

              I have a better relationship with my child

              Strengthening Families has helped me so much to deal with teenagers in a better way