Back to top

The Strengthening Families Program 10 – 14


The Strengthening Families Program for 10 – 14 year olds (SFP 10-14) is a universal prevention program that aims to assist families within late primary school/early high school. The program is designed to increase resilience, and reduce risk factors for substance abuse, depression, violence and aggression, delinquency, and school failure.

SFP 10 – 14 involves seven, 2 hour sessions. Parents and adolescents are in separate groups for the first hour, and combine to one group to practice skills for the second hour. Young people’s sessions focus on strengthening positive goals, dealing with stress, and building social skills. Parent sessions focus on communication, monitoring and conflict resolution.

Evaluation Evidence

Randomised trial evaluations in the US support the benefits of this program for young people and their parents. Outcomes for young people include reductions in substance use, reductions in hostile and aggressive behaviour, and fewer problems in school (Spoth & Redmond, 2000). Outcomes for parents include gains in specific parenting skills such as setting appropriate limits and building a positive relationship with their youth, gains on general child management such as setting rules and following through with consequences, and an increase in positive feelings towards their child (Foxcroft, Ireland, Lowe, & Breen, 2002 ; Spoth & Redmond, 2000). The program is currently being implemented and evaluated in the UK and in New Zealand.

Monitoring Recommendations

  • Boards should negotiate agreements to receive regular progress reports and request to monitor examples of session delivery.
  • Monitoring information should include: information on training quality; number and characteristics of participating families; parent and professionals reports of changes in child behaviour problems.
  • Given no prior Australian implementation, it is recommended to evaluate pre- post changes in targeted risk and protective factors and compare to a control group.

Implementation Tip

To adapt this program for implementation in Australia, a minimum of two facilitators would need to complete the Train the Trainer accreditation steps, and then evaluate its implementation in an Australian trial. For more information on associated costs, visit the website link. CTC Ltd. would be interested in supporting costs if there was interest in running an Australian training.


Karol Kumpfer,
PhD University of Utah

Program details
Target Audience: 
10 - 14 years
Target Risk Factors: 
  • Low neighbourhood attachment
  • Community transitions & mobility
  • Personal transitions & mobility
  • Community disorganisation
  • Poor family management and discipline
  • Family conflict
  • Favourable attitudes to problem behaviour
  • Low social skills
  • Antisocial behaviour
Target Protective Factors: 
  • Family attachment
  • Family opportunities for prosocial involvement
  • Family rewards for prosocial involvement
  • Social skills
Community Indicators: 
  • Low parental education
  • Sole parents
  • Low income and poor housing
  • Unemployment
  • HIgh aggregation of risk factors from primary school