The Strengthening Families 6-9 Program© is a research proven family skills training program designed to reduce risk factors for substance use and other problem behaviors in high-risk children of substance abusers including behavioral problems, emotional, academic and social problems. Although originally developed for children of high-risk substance abusers, it is widely used for non-substance abusing parents. The program builds on protective factors by improving family relationships, parenting skills, and improving the youth's social and life skills. It is designed for families with children ages 6 to 9.
Parents learn to increase desired behaviors in children by using attention and reinforcements, communication; substance use education; problem solving; limit setting and maintenance. Children learn communication; understanding feelings; social skills; problem solving; resisting peer pressure; questions and discussion about substance use; and compliance with parental rules. Families practice therapeutic child-play and conduct weekly family meetings to address issues, reinforce positive behavior and plan activities together.
Positive outcomes have been found in a number of independent program evaluations. Outcome results based on pre- and post-tests showed improved child risk status in three areas:
This program significantly improves family relationships, family organization, and family cohesion and reduces family conflict. Research also found improved sibling relationships, ability to think of family-oriented activities, and clarity of rules and less social isolation among participating families. Parents reported significantly decreased drug use, depression, use of corporal punishment, and increased parental efficacy. Children showed improvements in impulsivity, behaving well at home, and fewer problem behaviors in general. Children also report less intention to use tobacco and alcohol.
This program is recognized as a Model Program for Delinquency Prevention by the Office of Juvenile Justice
Youth First works in collaboration with area schools, churches and agencies to secure funding and to insure the highest quality coordination and implementation. Youth First provides:
To register or for more information contact Youth First Program Director Laura Wathen, 812-421-8336 ext. 4 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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