Strengthening Families Programme is a family skills training programme. Its aim is to increase resilience and reduce risk factors for families around behavioural, emotional and social problems. The programme is delivered as a three hour session per week over fourteen weeks. The programme commences every week with a meal for the families and facilitators, followed by a one hour session for both parents and teens, and finishes with a family session.
The session for parents equips the parents with effective parenting skills. These skills help parents increase desired behaviour within the family unit. Methods encouraged are rewarding positive behaviour, the use of clear communication, problem solving and setting clear limits all leading to effective discipline. Parents are also given information on substance misuse and speaking with their children about relationships and sexuality.
Our facilitators work with the teenagers of the group to help them learn effective communication, understand their feelings, improve social and problem-solving skills, resist peer pressure, understand the consequences of substance use, and comply with parental rules.
The last session of the evening is a final session around family life skills. Families engage in structured family activities, learn communication skills, reinforce positive behaviour in each other and practice effective discipline.
In week fourteen, the final evening of the programme, the group have a graduation evening, this is a celebration of their commitment to attending the programme. They are presented with a certificate to say they completed the Strengthening Families Programme. This is a very positive experience for all members of the families and the team which have delivered the programme.
Strengthening Families is available on Tuesday nights in Dóchas don Óige