Strengthening Families Program (SFP)

Scientific Rating:
NR
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
High
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Strengthening Families Program (SFP) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the areas of: Parent Training Programs that Address Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents and Parent Training Programs that Address Child Abuse and Neglect, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: Parents and their children ages 0-17 who need skills to reduce family conflict and the risk of abuse or neglect, including substance abusing parents, those already reported for child maltreatment, and those who need skills to deal with a disruptive child

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Brief Description

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a 10- to 14-week parenting and family skills training program for high-risk and general population families. It is unique because the whole family attends and practice new relationship skills together in family groups. SFP is designed to significantly improve parenting skills and family relationships, reduce child maltreatment, children’s problem behaviors, delinquency and alcohol and drug abuse; and to improve social competencies and school performance. The program is designed to work with many different ethnicities and races. In addition, it is available as a Home-use DVD for school, behavioral health, and family services to use alone or with case managers. It can also be given to families to view at home.

Program Goals:

The primary goals of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) are:

  • Reduce child maltreatment
  • Reduce costs of foster care and kinship care
  • Reduce parent and child substance abuse
  • Reduce child development and behavior problems
  • Reduce academic and school failure
  • Increase parent/child attachment and bonding
  • Increase positive parenting and parenting skills
  • Reduce family conflict and violence
  • Reduce children’s and parent’s depression and stress
  • Increase children’s positive behaviors

Essential Components

The essential components of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) include:

  • Family Meal (30 Minutes): Meals are served for the whole family, modeling how to have a family meal. Group leaders/facilitators sit with several families to coach them in positive responses to requests to children and reviewing how their week went and if they are prepared with their home practice. Mindfulness skills are taught during dinner in the SFP 7-17 version.
  • Separate Parent, Teen, and/or Child Skills Classes (50 Minutes): The parents and children are then divided into age-appropriate groups: adults, children ages 6-11, and youth ages 12-16. Children ages 3-5 do have a separate curriculum available but often are given babysitting services along with the children under 3 years old. Teaching begins with a warm welcome and follows a standard format including review of the prior lesson, check-in on how the home practice went, objectives for the lesson, lesson content, experiential practice, and assignment of home practice for next week.
    • Parent Classes teach skills such as:
      • Importance of positive one-on-one play time with children to increase bonding and attachment
      • How to increase positive affirmations and attention with children
      • Positive communication
      • How to make house rules and set up positive routines
      • Problem solving and win-win negotiation
      • Stress and anger management
      • How to strengthen family relationships
      • Nurturing parenting
      • Positive discipline including:
        • Teaching and rewarding the behaviors they want
        • Ignoring minor annoying behavior
        • Using positive communication
        • Giving mild, predetermined consistent consequences
    • Teaches parent strategies and tips for managing high-risk child behavior situations such as:
      • Noncompliance with requests
      • Bedtime
      • Shopping
      • Getting to school on time
      • Homework and chore completion
    • Children/Teen Classes teach skills such as:
      • Goals and objectives to increase resilience
      • Stress and anger management
      • Coping with criticism and bullying
      • Communication
      • Feelings identification
      • Choosing safe friends/relationships
      • Boundaries
      • Saying no to trouble
      • Problem solving
      • Community service to increase self-esteem<
      • Resources for help
  • Family Practice Class (45 minutes)
    • This time is structured to allow the families to practice newly taught skills such as:
      • Using positive play with child that includes not being directive
      • Increasing communication skills
      • Giving clear directions and requests of the child
      • Giving appropriate consequences
      • Making chore and behavioral charts
      • Practicing family meetings
      • Planning for graduation where all families contribute
    • Lesson ends with a Home Practice Assignment
  • Closing (10 Minutes): Also consistent, each session closes in the same way bringing a sense of ritual
  • Cultural adaptation for diverse families of language, experiential exercises, and examples by culturally knowledgeable staff are core elements of SFP.
  • DVD version is 30 minutes of video delivery of the program content, plus 30 minutes of pause and practice with caseworker or counselor. When delivered by case managers in the home, the whole family watches the DVD and practices improved family communication and exercises together with coaching by the case manager. The case manager may work separately with the parents for part of the time if they want to have private discussions with the parents only.

Child/Adolescent Services

Strengthening Families Program (SFP) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Child risk factors such as behavioral and mental health problems (overt and covert aggression, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, criminality or delinquent behavior, depression, school failure, lack of social and academic skills, etc.); family and parental problems such as parental depression, substance use disorder, and criminality, or family violence and child maltreatment and sexual abuse.

Parent/Caregiver Services

Strengthening Families Program (SFP) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Child maltreatment, family conflict or violence, parental substance abuse and depression, and parent criminality; parent of a child with disruptive behaviors or mental health problems (aggression, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression) as well as reports of delinquent behaviors or school failure, etc.
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Grandparents, foster parents, guardians and anyone caring for the child regularly are invited to attend SFP

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency
  • Foster/Kinship Care
  • Jail
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School

Homework

Strengthening Families Program (SFP) includes a homework component:

Every lesson has home practice assignments to do during the week to learn the new skills taught in the lesson.

Languages

Strengthening Families Program (SFP) has materials available in languages other than English:

Austrian, Bosnian, Brazilian, Burmese, Canadian French, Chinese, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Thai

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Project supervisor and about 4-6 facilitators/group leaders for regular SFP 0-17 Years versions (depending if you have both teen & child class)
  • 2 Facilitators for the SFP DVD Family Discussion Group
  • One case manager and clinical supervisor for the SFP 7-17 DVD Home Use version
  • Meals, transportation (when needed), incentives and babysitting recommended to reduce barriers to attendance in the group class versions
  • Room for meals and two or three classrooms for Parenting Training and Child /Teen Skills Training class version
  • Equipment to play the DVD for DVD version
  • White board or flip chart
  • Handouts for parents and homework assignments

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Trained paraprofessionals, educators, mental health professionals, prevention specialists, and college students. Interns can administer this program because it is provided in detailed manuals. Support from a Site Coordinator with at least a Bachelor’s level degree in a social sciences program is recommended. Characteristics of implementers to get best results are having good people skills; having a belief in the value of SFP to help their families; being warm, welcoming, and empathetic; being organized and well-prepared for each lesson; and being culturally sensitive. Being from the local culture also helps.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contacts:
Training is obtained:

Onsite for 5 to 35 trainees and must be arranged through one of the above training contacts

Number of days/hours:

2 days for US trainings but 2.5 to 3 days for international trainings with language translations and role plays of practice lessons in their own language

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Child Welfare Outcomes: Not Specified

Show relevant research...

A meta-analysis, see citation following, has been conducted on the Strengthening Families Program (SFP), however, this article is not used for rating and therefore is not summarized:

  • Kumpfer, K. L., Magalhães, C., & Xie, J. (2012). Cultural adaptations of evidence-based family interventions to strengthen families and improve children’s outcomes. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 9(1), 104-116. doi:10.1080/17405629.2011.639225

Aktan, G. B., Kumpfer, K. L., & Turner, C. W. (1996). Effectiveness of a family skills training program for substance use prevention with inner city African-American families. Substance Use & Misuse, 31(2), 157-175. doi:10.3109/10826089609045805

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 176

Population:

  • Age — Children: 6-12; Parent: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 100% African American; Parents: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 49 males and 39 females; Parent: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were parents and their children in a substance abuse program.

Location/Institution: Detroit

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The effectiveness of the Safe Haven Program for the prevention of substance use. The Safe Haven Program is a modification for inner city African-American substance-abusing families of the 14-session Strengthening Families Program developed for children of substance abusers. Measures utilized include the Moos Family Environment Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results indicate that the Safe Haven Program was effective in increasing parenting efficacy and behaviors toward children, improving the children’s risk and protective factors and behaviors, and supporting treatment reductions in the parent and family illegal substance use. Limitations include lack of randomization of participants, lack of control groups, lack of generalizability due to ethnicity, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Aktan, G. B. (1999). A cultural consistency evaluation of a substance abuse prevention program with inner city African-American families. Journal of Primary Prevention, 19(3), 227-239. doi:10.1023/A:1022699927549

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 176

Population:

  • Age — Children: 6-12 years, Parent: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 100% African American, Parents: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 49 Males and 39 Females; Parent: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were parents and their children in a substance abuse program.

Location/Institution: Detroit

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study utilized the same population as Akins, Kumpfer, & Turner (1996). The purpose of this evaluation was to determine client and staff response to the Safe Haven Program to elicit recommendations from families currently participating, former participants, and staff as to how the program could be made more meaningful to the local African-American population. The Safe Haven Program is a modification for inner city African-American substance-abusing families of the 14-session Strengthening Families Program developed for children of substance abusers. The first step in this process was to implement the Strengthening Families Program as initially designed for a multicultural audience, including Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic/Latino and African-Americans, modifications were then made to include three components: 1) an all African-American video was produced with original scripts based on typical family life situations encountered by families of local substance abusers; 2) all art work utilized in the program manuals was redrawn to reflect African-American heritage, and 3) certain concepts and terminology used in the program were revised to be more in line with the African-American historical/cultural frame of reference. Measures utilized include the Moos Family Environment Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Following modifications to the program, a second, post-modification, cultural evaluation was conducted to determine if changes made to the program increased cultural congruence and what impact, if any, an increase in congruence had on the results of ongoing process and outcome evaluations. Results indicate that modifications to the program were associated with greater cultural congruence reflected by program process enhancement. Limitations include lack of randomization of participants, lack of control groups, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Kumpfer, K. L., Alvarado, R., Tait, C., & Turner, C. (2002). Effectiveness of school-based family and children’s skills training for substance abuse prevention among 6-8 year old rural children. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 16(4), 65-71. doi:10.1037/0893-64X.16.4S.S65

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 655

Population:

  • Age — Children: Not specified, Parents: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 87% Caucasian and 7.6% Hispanic, Parents: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: 47% Male, Parents: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were 1st grade children and their families.

Location/Institution: 12 schools from the Rocky Mountain school district

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This research tested the effectiveness of Project SAFE (Strengthening America’s Families and Environment). Participants were randomly assigned to four groups: 1) I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) program alone; 2) ICPS combined with the Strengthening Families (SF) Program; 3) ICPS combined with SF parent training only; and 4) a no-treatment control group. Measures utilized include the Attitude Toward School and Teacher scales of the Behavioral Assessment for Children (BASC), the Parent Report on School Climate (PRSC), the Parent and Teacher Involvement Questionnaire (PTIQ), the Parenting Practices Scale (PPS), the Family Relations Scale, Parent Observation of Classroom Adaptation—Revised (POCA–R), and the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation—Revised (TOCA–R). Results indicate that significantly larger improvements and effect sizes on all outcome variables (school bonding, parenting skills, family relationships, social competency, and behavioral self-regulation) for the combined ICPS and SF Program compared with ICPS-only or no-treatment controls. Adding parenting-only improved social competency and self-regulations more but negatively impacted family relationships, whereas adding SF improved family relationships, parenting, and school bonding more. Limitations include the article reports outcomes of conjoined intervention and not outcomes of each intervention separately and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Gottfredson, D., Kumpfer, K. L., Polizzi-Fox, D., Wilson, D., Puryear, V, Beatty, P., & Vilmenay, M. (2006). Strengthening Washington, D.C. Families Project: A randomized effectiveness trial of family-based prevention. Prevention Science, 7(1), 57-74. doi:10.1007/s11121-005-0017-y

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 715

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7-11 years, Parents: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified; Parents: 75% African American
  • Gender — Children: Not specified, Parents: 94% Female
  • Status — Participants were families with children at risk for conduct problems or substance use.

Location/Institution: Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examines the effectiveness of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) on outcomes among children of primarily African American families in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Entire families were randomly assigned to one of the four study conditions: family skills (FT, full SFP treatment), parenting skills (PT, parent-training part of SFP only), children receiving training primarily in social skills (CT, child skills training part of SFP only), or minimal treatment (MT) control group. Measures utilized include the Parent Observation of Children’s Activities (POCA-R), the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS), What About You survey, and the Moos Family Environment Scale (FES). Results indicate that no statistically significant positive effects for any of the program conditions were observed, and a statistically significant negative effect on child reports of Negative Peer Associations was observed for children of families assigned to the family skills training condition. Two marginally significant findings were observed: Child’s positive adjustment favored families assigned to family skills training condition relative to minimal treatment and child training only, and family supervision and bonding was lower for children in family skills training than in the other three conditions. Limitations include high attrition rate, generalizability to other populations based upon ethnicity of participants, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Mindel, C. H., & Hoefer, R. A. (2006). An evaluation of a family strengthening program for substance abuse offenders. Journal of Social Service Research, 32(4), 23-38. doi:10.1300/J079v32n04_02

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 171

Population:

  • Age — Children: Mean=9 years, Parents: Mean=33 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified; Parents: 55% White, 37% African American, 5% Native American, and 3% Hispanic
  • Gender — Children: 50% Male, 50% Female; Parents: 87% Female
  • Status — Participants were families with children at risk for conduct problems or substance use.

Location/Institution: Riverside facility of the Volunteers of America (VOA), Fort Worth, Texas

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This article evaluates the effectiveness of Strengthening Families Program (SFP) for substance abuse offenders. Measures utilized include the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the CSAP Common Core measure of Opportunities and Rewards for Pro-Social Involvement, and the Family Relations/Cohesion Scale. Results indicate that the program is associated with significant changes on the four main variables of concern to program staff and funders: family resilience, opportunities for prosocial involvement of the children, rewards for prosocial involvement by children, and family bonding. Limitations nonrandomization of participants, lack of control group, generalizability to other populations, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Kumpfer, K. L., Whiteside, H. O., Greene, J. A., & Allen, K. C. (2010). Effectiveness outcomes of four age versions of the Strengthening Families Program in statewide field sites. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 14(3), 211-229. doi:10.1037/a0020602

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 1,600 (approximately)

Population:

  • Age — Children: 7-11 years, Parents: Not stated
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified, Parents: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: Not stated, Parents: 66% Female and 34% Male (approximately)
  • Status — Participants were families with children at risk for conduct problems or substance use.

Location/Institution: New Jersey

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This article summarizes research outcomes from a quasi-experimental, 5-year statewide study of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) with over 1,600 high-risk families. The study compared outcomes including effect sizes for the four different age versions of SFP (3–5, 6–11, 10–14, and 12–16 years). Measures utilized include the Adult Retrospective Pre- and Posttest, the Parent Observations of Child Activities (POCA) scale, the Parenting Scale, Family Strengths and Resilience Assessment, the Gresham and Elliot Social Skills Scale, and the Family Environment Scales (FES). Results indicate for an analysis comparing all of the four age-specific curricula of SFP for reductions in the parents’ alcohol and drug use revealed that the SFP 12–16 years parents improved significantly more by effect sizes than the other SFP versions. The next most effective program for reducing parental drug use was the SFP 6-11 years followed closely by SFP 10–14 years. The next largest mean improvement in the parent’s parenting ability was for the parents enrolled in the SFP 12–16 years. The SFP 10–14 parents were higher in parenting skills than any of the conditions at baseline. The largest effect sizes are for improvements in Parental Supervision, Parenting Efficacy, and Positive Parenting for the SFP 6–11 condition. The smallest improvements were for SFP 3–5 in Parenting Involvement. For most of the five family outcome scales, SFP 6–11 had the best outcomes for improving Family Cohesion and Parent/Child Attachment, Family Communication, Family Organization, and Family Conflict as well as Overall Family Strengths and Resilience. The SFP 6–11years groups had the best results according to the effect sizes across five of the seven children’s outcomes. For most of the children’s outcomes, SFP 6–11 years had the best outcomes for improving Children’s Concentration, Overt Aggression, Depression, Covert Aggression as well as reducing Hyperactivity. SFP 12-16 years had the second largest results; however, for SFP 10-14 years had the largest effect sizes for two of the youth outcomes—Social Skills and Competencies and reductions in Criminality. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Kumpfer, K. L., Xie, J., & O’Driscoll, R. (2012). Effectiveness of a culturally adapted Strengthening Families Program 12–16 years for high-risk Irish families. Child & Youth Care Forum, 41(2), 173-195. doi:10.1007/s10566-011-9168-0

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest with comparison group
Number of Participants: 250

Population:

  • Age — Children: 12-16 years, Parents: Mean=40.5-40.6 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified; Parents: 95% Irish/White, 3.4% Irish Traveler, 1.0% Other, and 0.6% African/Black
  • Gender — Children: 57% Male and 43% Female, Parents: 83% Female and 17% Male
  • Status — Participants were families with children at risk for conduct problems or substance use

Location/Institution: Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Galway, Roscommon Sligo, Mayo, Donegal, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath in Ireland

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examines the effectiveness of Strengthening Families Program (SFP) on Irish families compared to families in the United States that received SFP. Measures utilized include the SFP Retrospective Parent Pre- and Post- test Questionnaire, the Family Strengths and Resilience Assessment, the Parent Observations of Child Activities (POCA), Gresham and Elliott Social Skills Scale, and the Family Environment Scale (FES). Participants were placed into two groups that both received SFP. Results indicated significant improvements in both SFP groups between pretest and posttest on all of the outcomes measured. The primary limitation is that the study compared two groups receiving the same intervention; other limitations include lack of randomization and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Miller, A. L., Perryman, J., Markovitz, L., Franzen, S., Cochran, S., & Brown, S. (2013). Strengthening incarcerated families: Evaluating a pilot program for children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers. Family Relations, 62(4), 584-596. doi:10.1111/fare.12029

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 60

Population:

  • Age — Children: 4-14 years (Mean=8.5 years); Parent: 22-70 years (Mean=45.8 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 62% African American and 38% Caucasian, Parents: 64% African American and 36% Caucasian
  • Gender — Children: 18 Female and 11 Male, Parent: 72% Female and 27% Male
  • Status — Participants were mothers who incarcerated.

Location/Institution: Not Specified

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The purpose of the current study is to examine the use of both a prospective and a retrospective pretest in evaluating the impact of the Strengthening Families Program on foster care involved families affected by parental substance abuse. Measures utilized include the SFP Strength/Resilience scale, the SFP Parenting Scale, the Parenting Stress Index (PSI), Family Support Scale (FSS), Parent Observation of Child Adaptation (POCA) and the Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results indicate that caregivers reported positive changes in their parenting and family-level functioning, and reduced depression symptoms from pre- to post-test, with some gains retained at follow-up 4 months later. Positive changes in child behavior were reported at follow-up, though not at posttest. Families reported high satisfaction, attendance was high, and attrition was low. Limitations include small sample size, lack of randomization of participants, and lack of control group.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 4 months

Magalhães, C., & Kumpfer, K. L. (2015). Effectiveness of culturally adapted Strengthening Families Programme 6-11 years among Portuguese families. Journal of Children's Services, 10(2), 151-160. doi:10.1108/JCS-02-2014-0010

Type of Study: Pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group
Number of Participants: 1,641

Population:

  • Age — Children: 6-11 years, Parents: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified; Parents: Not specified
  • Gender — Children: Not specified, Parents: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were families with children at risk for conduct problems or substance use.

Location/Institution: Portugal and USA (mainly in New Jersey)

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study tests the effectiveness of cultural-adapted Strengthening Families Program (SFP) – Portuguese version compared to 11 years of SFP international norms. The outcomes for the SFP in Portuguese families with children 6 to 11years old (n=41) were compared to the international norms for SFP in families with children six to 11 years (n=1,600). Measures utilized include the SFP Retrospective Parent Pre- and Post- test Questionnaire, and the Kellam Parent Observations of Child’s Activities. Participants were placed into two groups that both received SFP. Results indicate significant improvements in both SFP groups between pretest and posttest on family environment and parental and children outcomes for both groups. The primary limitation is that the study compared two groups receiving the same intervention; other limitations include lack of randomization and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Brook, J., Akin, B. A., Lloyd, M., Bhattarai, J., & McDonald, T. P. (2016). The use of prospective versus retrospective pretests with child-welfare involved families. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-13. doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0446-1

Type of Study: One group pretest-posttest study
Number of Participants: 411

Population:

  • Age — Children: 3-11 years, Parent: Mean=32.7 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Children: Not specified, Parents:72% Caucasian and 13% Black
  • Gender — Children: 53% Female and 47% Male, Parent: 72% Female adn 27% Male
  • Status — Participants mothers who were involved with the child welfare system.

Location/Institution: Midwestern United States

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The purpose of the current study is to examine the use of both a prospective and a retrospective pretest in evaluating the impact of the Strengthening Families Program on foster care involved families affected by parental substance abuse. Measure utilized include the SFP Parenting Scale, the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D), the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), and the Parent Observation of Children’s Activities (POCA). Results indicate that overall, the Strengthening Families Program positively impacted family, child, and parent functioning and that there were few differences between testing approaches when testing for statistical significance; however, relative differences between prospective pretests and retrospective pretests appeared more prominent in effect size computations. Limitations include lack of randomization of participants, generalizability to other populations in other states, and both pretest designs could be affected by social desirability and justification biases.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

The following studies were not included in rating Strengthening Families Program (SFP) on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Brook, J., McDonald, T. P., & Yan, Y. (2012). An analysis of the impact of the Strengthening Families Program on family reunification in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 691–695.

This study examines the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) in regards to reunification outcomes of children of alcohol- or other drug-involved parents who were placed in foster care as part of their child welfare service intervention. Participants were 214 SFP participants and 423 matched nonparticipants. The propensity score matching was conducted within CWS region of the state. Results indicate that SFP participants had a significantly higher reunification rate than matched families who did not receive this intervention. Additionally, SFP participants were significantly more likely to reunify than comparison cases. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, lack of reliability of self-reported measures, and possible selection bias. Note: This study was not used for rating the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) in the Parent Training Programs that Address Problem Behaviors in Children and Adolescents topic area or the Parent Training Programs that Address Child Abuse and Neglect topic area since it evaluated reunification as the outcome, not problem behaviors.

Johnson-Motoyama, M., Brook, J., Yan, Y., & McDonald, T. P. (2013). Cost analysis of the strengthening families program in reducing time to family reunification among substance-affected families. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(2), 244-252.

This study utilizes same sample as Brook et al. (2012). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the costs and effects of a federally funded implementation of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) on time to reunification with a substance-involved child welfare population. Participants were 214 SFP participants and 423 matched nonparticipants. The propensity score matching was conducted within CWS region of the state. Results indicate that the typical child participating in SFP spends 190 fewer days in out of home care when compared to a propensity score matched comparison group of children in out-of home care receiving treatment as usual. Re-entry rates between the two groups were not significantly different at follow-up. At an average out-of-home care rate of $86 per child per day in this state, SFP saves approximately $16,340 per participating child in out-of-home care costs. From a cost–benefit perspective, every $1 invested in SFP yields an average savings of $9.83 in this Midwestern demonstration. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, lack of reliability of self-reported measures, and possible selection bias. Note: This study was not used for rating the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) in the Parent Training Programs that Address Problem Behaviors in Children and Adolescents topic area or the Parent Training Programs that Address Child Abuse and Neglect topic area since it evaluated reunification as the outcome, not problem behaviors.

References

Kumpfer, K. L. (2015). Middle childhood: Strengthening Families Program 6-11. In M. Van Ryzin, K. L. Kumpfer, G. Falco, & M. Greenberg (Eds.) Family-based prevention programs for children and adolescents: Theory, research, and large-scale dissemination, Chapter 4. New York: Psychology Press.

Kumpfer, K. L. Alvarado, R., & Whiteside, H. O. (2003). Family-based interventions for substance abuse prevention. Substance Use and Misuse, 38(11-13), 1759-1789.

Kumpfer, K. L., Magalhães, C., & Ahearn Greene, J. (2015). Strengthening Families Program: Chapter 18: In J. Ponzetti. (Ed.). Evidence-based parenting education: A global perspective, pp. 277-292. New York: Routledge.

Contact Information

Name: Karol L. Kumpfer, PhD
Title: Professor
Agency/Affiliation: University of Utah
Website: www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org
Email:
Phone: (801) 583-4601

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: January 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: November 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: October 2016