What is Strengthening Families?

Strengthening Families is a parent, youth and family skills-building curriculum designed to prevent teen substance abuse and other behavior problems, strengthen parenting skills, and build family strengths developed by professionals at Iowa State University Extension. The program is delivered in 7 two hour sessions where parents and youth meet separately for the first hour and then the families practice skills and have fun together during the second hour. Sessions are highly interactive and include role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects. Each session contains a variety of activities.

  • Parent sessions include viewing and discussing videotapes which portray negative and positive interactions with youth, skill-building activities and group support.
  • Youth sessions include game-like learning activities, discussions and skill-building activities.
  • Family sessions include parent-youth discussions, games, projects, skill-building practice and videotape viewing.

The Strengthening Families is unique in that it is a workshop in which parents and youth learn together, and the curriculum is designed and used with ethnically diverse families in rural and urban settings .

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