Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Strengthening Families Programme for?
It is mainly for parents of children aged between 10-14 years and can be delivered at universal and targeted levels. The programme welcomes every family. This may be mum, dad and young person, it may be a lone parent, step or foster parent, or grandparent: or whoever has a meaningful relationship with the young person.


What are the main outcomes families can expect by completing the programme?
Research has shown that:

  • Young people attending the programme had significantly lower rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, compared to young people who did not attend the programme (the control group)
  • The differences between programme and control young people actually increased over time, indicating that skills learned and strong parent-child relationships continue to have greater and greater influence
  • Young people attending the programme had significantly fewer conduct problems in school and also attained better grades than young people in the control group
  • Parents showed gains in specific parenting skills including setting appropriate limits and building a positive relationship with their child
  • Parents showed an increase in positive feelings towards their child
  • Parents showed gains on general child management including setting rules and following through with consequences
  • Parents increased their skills in General Child Management such as effectively monitoring their child and having appropriate and consistent discipline

How is this programme different from others?
The programme is unique in the way it works with both parents and young people. Many programmes work either with parents or young people. However the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK) brings parent/caregiver and the young person together and is recognised as a strength of the programme.


How is the programme structured?
The SFP10-14 (UK) has seven two hour sessions for parents and young people, who attend separate skill-building groups for the first hour and spend the second hour together in supervised family activities. Four optional booster sessions are designed to be used three/six months to one year after the end of the first seven sessions, in order to reinforce the skills gained in the original sessions.

Young people’s sessions focus on strengthening goal setting, dealing with stress and strong emotions, communication skills, increasing responsible behaviour, and improving skills to deal with peer pressure.

Parents discuss the importance of both nurturing their children whilst, at the same time, setting rules, monitoring compliance, and applying appropriate discipline. Topics include making house rules, encouraging good behaviour, using consequences, building bridges, and protecting against alcohol and substance misuse.


What type of training does the My Strong Family Centre (Oxford Brookes University) offer?
We offer three basic levels of accreditation/certification.

  • Level 1 certification consists of a three day facilitator training programme (TOF) aimed at preparing up to 21 facilitators to deliver the SFP 10-14 (UK) programme to families with young people aged 10-14 years
  • Level 2 certification is conditioned by delivering the 7-week programme to families with the post-training support. This post-training support includes two 30-minutes sessions via mail, internet or telephone, one hour review session with our trainers plus a feed back report.
  • Level 3 certification is a 150 hour module offered as a distance learning programme at the undergraduate or postgraduate level

In addition, we also offer the “Trainer of Facilitators” Training (TOFT), which is a three-day training aimed at preparing experienced facilitators to deliver the SFP 10-14 training to new facilitators within their own organisations and agencies, refresher training and on-going professional support and development.


How much does the training for facilitators cost?
The price list for our basic facilitator training is to be found here. If you are also interested in our post-training support please click here.


Is the SFP 10-14 (UK) programme also available in other countries?
The Strengthening Families Programme was originally developed in the US and is delivered across the country in rural and inner city locations. The programme materials were adapted following collaboration with Iowa State University to meet the needs of the UK audience. Oxford Brookes University has a license to adapt and produce SFP 10-14 programme materials in the UK. As part of a further research project, the programme is being piloted throughout European countries, including Poland, Spain, Italy and Greece.


How can I access SFP 10-14 (UK) training near me?
If you are interested in organising a facilitator training or attending a facilitator training near your location please contact us and we’ll send you available dates.


How many facilitators do we need to run the programme for parents?
We recommend 1 trained facilitator for the parent session and ideally 2 trained facilitators for the youth sessions. However, we also advise that the parent sessions have another facilitator/helper present, and similarly additional help for the young people’s session is recommended depending on the needs of the group members.


What if we do not have 3 trained facilitators?
We will help you to get potential facilitators trained at the earliest opportunity, or help put you in touch with other trained facilitators who may be in your area.


Is it possible for people, who didn’t attend the SFP 10-14 (UK) training to purchase your materials separately?
To ensure programme fidelity and quality assurance only people who have already completed the 3-day SFP 10-14 (UK) facilitator training with a recognised SFP 10-14 trainer are able to purchase the SFP 10-14 materials.


What SFP 10-14 (UK) materials/resources do we need to have in order to run a course with families?
You will need the following materials:

  • SFP 10-14 programme manual that includes all sessions required for weeks 1-7 plus 4 booster weeks and set of 30 large laminated posters
  • DVD set that includes all sessions required for weeks 1-7 and booster weeks 1-4
  • Fridge magnets, which are useful for participants to place important programme materials and reminders in a prominent location

What is the price of the SFP 10-14 (UK) resources/materials?

  • Programme manual with 30 large laminated posters at £254
  • DVD at £185
  • Pack of 20 fridge magnets at £18
  • Leaflet pack (£8.75 for 25, £15 for 50, £20 for 75, £25 for 100)

Does your programme require a high level of literacy?
The programme doesn’t rely heavily on written materials and facilitators are provided with strategies for dealing with parents with literacy needs. However this is an area we are trying to improve and hope to have additional resources in the future to meet this identified need.


Does your programme meet the needs of participants for whom English is not their first language?
We are hoping to develop the materials we offer. Currently, we have an English, Polish and Spanish version of the programme. We hope to further develop this work. However, many groups have run the programme with the help of interpreters.


What sort of a venue do we need to run the programme?
You need a venue with two appropriately sized rooms. One for the parent session and one for the young people’s session. You will need a DVD player and TV. Schools are frequently used as they have the right rooms and equipment. Faith centres and community centres are also used.