Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) 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. The programme has been extensively evaluated and has received the CANparent Quality Mark.
About the programme
Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a 13 week parenting programme, which has been used extensively to reach, retain and have an impact on parents from marginalised communities, including black and minority ethnic parents, teenaged parents and fathers.
SFSC is a universal programme, which helps parents with children aged up to 18 years to think about how their actions and experiences may influence their parenting style.
In particular, SFSC helps parents to:
- Gain a better understanding of child development
- Use positive discipline techniques
- Promote children’s social skills and self-discipline
- Achieve positive change in family relationships
- Explore and develop strategies to deal with factors that risk poor outcomes for children, such as harsh and/or inconsistent discipline
The online six week Strengthening Families parenting programme gives a taster of some of the issues and techniques covered in the full 13 week Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme.
The programme focuses on the challenges faced by parents of under 5s. Weekly facilitated online discussions ensure that parents can cover experiential elements of the SFSC programme, and give opportunities to share the challenges and successes that they have undergone in parenting.
The online programme is not a replacement for the SFSC programme, but is instead meant as an introduction to the parenting techniques from the 13 week programme. It may be suitable for parents who have struggled to attend more traditional parenting programmes, due to work, study, or distance from programme venues. The online course might also suit parents who lack the confidence to join a face-to-face group. The course costs £100.
Please note the online course is currently being updated and will not be available again until the summer 2018.Show less
The Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme is structured into five component areas. Information from the different component areas is integrated throughout the 13 sessions of the curriculum.
Cultural/spiritual Rites of Passage Enhancing Relationships
Process of Discipline Community Involvement
Programme deliveryIn order to effectively deliver SFSC managers and commissioners need to be aware both of the fidelity requirements of the programme as well as what needs to be in place to make sure programmes are successful.
|Once a week||For|
|3 hours||13 weeks|
|2 facilitators||8-12 participants|
Quality assurance & supportQuality assurance processes apply to all programmes, taking place through some or all of the following:
- phone calls from members of the SFSC team
- a paper data collection exercise
- a self assessment portfolio
- and/or programme observations
Programme observations, whilst being the preferred method of assessing standards have been met are now only offered as part of paid for packages or as a result of a random sample of programmes observed each term.
Race Equality Foundation offers a range of support to ensure successful delivery of SFSC and the most positive experience for facilitators and parents alike.
Evidence and evaluationThere is a great deal of evidence on the efficacy of the SFSC programme, from research reports based on pre- and post-test measures, to qualitative studies involving video. SFSC has received the CANparent Quality Mark.
How do we measure impact?
A significant number of the written studies are based on data collected from each programme. This includes:
- demographic data on all parents
- pre and post-test questionnaire responses
- facilitator reports reviewing programmes
In addition, studies have been produced using other measures including a number of standardised measures such as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
What is the impact of SFSC?
Studies using data gathered from pre- and post-test questionnaires completed by parents have reported statistically significant change in:
- parents’ self-esteem
- parents’ confidence in their parenting
- family relationships
- relationships with children
- child’s self-esteem
- their child’s ability to control their own behaviour
MaterialsThe following resources are available from the Race Equality Foundation order line:
- Parent Manuals are £13 each and come in a number of formats and community languages including:
- Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese
- Large print and easy words and pictures.
- Large A1 laminated delivery posters
- Building blocks
- Process of discipline
- Foundational circles
- DVDs (suitable for recruitment and information provision)
- SFSC infographic
- Evaluation of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme 2009-2010
- Evaluation of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme 2007-2009
- Evaluation of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Programme 2005/6 and 2006/7
- Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder evaluation report (Tower Hamlets)
- Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinders
- Empowering high-risk families of children with disabilities (external website- abstract only)
- Test of Efficacy of Model Family Strengthening Programs (external website)
- Family Environment Scale Manual: Development, Applications, Research – Third Edition. Moos, R & Moos, B, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press, 1994