SFSC

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities is an inclusive evidence-based parenting programme, designed to promote protective factors which are associated with good parenting and better outcomes for children.

SFSC has enjoyed success with parents from a number of backgrounds, including black and minority ethnic parents, teenaged parents, parents with learning disabilities and parents from marginalised communities, including those with experience of drugs, alcohol or violence.

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For facilitators

If you are already trained as a SFSC facilitator and need to find out how to register your programme, access advanced training or when the next peer support meeting is, that will help you better support families

For commissioners & workers

If you work in an agency that is interested in delivering SFSC, manage trained practitioners and want to better understand the SFSC approach, see how SFSC can help you deliver services to families

For parents

If you are a parent or carer and want to be a more confident parent and support your children to be happy and successful, learn how SFSC can help you be a better parent

99%

of parents say they would recommend the programme

60%

of programmes have dads taking part

90%

of participants complete 6 or more sessions

63%

of those that take part have household incomes of less that £10k

  • My daughter (aged 3) slept through the night and went to sleep for the first time in forever without tears. Thank you for your kindness and time.

    Mum in Waltham Forest
  • REF helped SPAN to introduce SFSC to the South West 6 years ago. They have helped us to train facilitators, set up programmes, deliver peer support, supervise facilitators, chase funding, monitor and evaluate, recruit and retain parents, provided a practitioners’ website, a telephone helpline and invited us to their fabulous annual SFSC conference. Our work in partnership with REF has helped us to establish a network of support for parents right across the South West. With REF's help we have turned parents’ lives around. We are getting the most amazing results with parents, children and schools providing evidence of major improvements in family communication, discipline, engagement in community activities, breaking isolation and parent' progression into further training, volunteering and plans for future employment.

    Annie OliverParenting Support Manager, SPAN, speaking about the SFSC parenting programme
  • I was referred by my daughter’s social worker because there were some areas I was
    lacking behind in my parenting; my social worker was worried about my daughter. Since
    I started on the course I’ve been gaining loads about how to promote my child’s social
    and emotional development. And it’s really helped me so much. I’m very very
    thankful for these people and our teachers for the support and encouragement through
    these sessions. And I say a very big thank you to everyone.

    Dad from LB Lambeth
  • I’ve enjoyed coming to this course and always look forward for Monday as new and improved parent techniques were taught. It helped me to calm and control my temper and anger and deal with  stressful situations that sometimes I have to tackle with my child. I’ve liked when parents open up with their family situations and it made me realise that I'm not on my own and I even learned from other parents and prepared me for other situation my child might get to especially when hitting the teenage period. I would recommend this course to every parent and I wish it would be mandatory as it's a good way to learning our day to day basis with our kids. The coordinators were amazing, always listened to our drama and never judged and provide us with nice food and clean environment. Thanks

    Mum from Southwark
  • I attended a Drug and Alcohol Education conference last week where there
    was a  discussion about recent research into 'what works'.   Strengthening
    Families scored high for successfully changing lives. I can totally understand
    why

    Sexual Health and Relationships NurseLondon Borough of Lambeth
  • The programme gave me a lot of confidence in what I was doing already. I was doing a good job – I just needed to maybe do some things differently. The bits on behaviour, praise and positive discipline were really useful.

    #CANparent participant
  • We have been impressed by your commitment to this project and that you have delivered that which was required within the tight timescales. You rose to every challenge that was encountered and we are therefore grateful to you for the dedication that was shown

    Bekah LittleHead of Programme at the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
  • I have been accessing the support of the REF since 2007 when I started working on running SFSC programmes. The REF are very helpful, efficient and the staff are great. It’s great to know you can always ring on the helpline number for support. They have worked hard on the support package they offer in the last couple of years and it’s good to know someone will always get back to you if not be able to answer your question immediately. One of the best things about the REF is their vision for the future, commitment to research as well as their drive to support facilitators to use and share best practice. As a facilitator and project worker/Coordinator I feel really supported

    Rachel HornsbySFSC Project Worker, Bath and North East Somerset Council, speaking about the SFSC parenting programme
  • Before the programme I was under the impression that all that could be done had been done, and that there was nowhere else to turn. But from the guests on the programme and the handouts that were given out I know that there are other services that I can access, like the Family Information Service.

    Parent of child with ASD after SFSC programme
  • I know I have a really quick temper but I like it here and I am relaxed because it’s interesting and not like school

    Young Parent in Waltham Forest
  • SFSC is more than a parenting programme. It really made me think about the values and beliefs that exist within my family and what I want to pass on to my children. I'd recommend it to any parent.

    Parent speaking about the SFSC parenting programme
  • Thank you so much for the four week parenting course- it seriously works!! If I have another baby, can I repeat the course?

    It really has helped, I have really noticed a difference in our family. Even when problems arise I feel better equipped; I can access my tool box of information to deal with it: I feel calm, and in control and, best of all, confident that I do know what to do. The best thing is knowing that for every behaviour there is a reason; I can rationalise [my daughter's] behaviour. I really feel empowered and able to deal with behaviours that arise- even in only four weeks! (which is how long it takes to change a behaviour- it's true!) The course was so straightforward, uncomplicated and realistic. The advice given is easy to transfer to the home environment- which is all down to both of you being so friendly and approachable.

    This will make you laugh: you have become my driving instructor! I was never a very confident learner driver, but having had a good instructor I felt confident driving, even now I can hear him occasionally in my head when I drive. I know that sounds odd! That's kind of how it is now, when a problem arises with [my daughter] I can refer to you talking us through situations and it helps- thank you!

    CANparent delegate
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