Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities

Summary: Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities is a violence prevention parenting programme.



To improve outcomes for children and young people by promoting heathy violence-free lifestyles, families and communities. SFSC does this by focusing on:

  • Supporting parents to increase their confidence and competence
  • Achieving positive change in family relationships
  • Promoting children’s social skills and self-discipline
  • Developing strategies to deal with factors that risk poor outcomes for children




Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a violence prevention parenting programme. It was adapted from a US model in 2000 by the Race Equality Foundation to work with parents who live in the UK. It has undergone substantial development since this time and now the core curriculum can be enhanced by a range of supplementary resources and training packages. These allow practitioners to deliver of the programme in a tailored way to parents including those living in areas affected by gangs, gun and knife crime; living in areas impacted by radicalisation and extremism; and for delivery with a focus on sexual health and developing healthy relationships.

The programme consists of 12 three hour sessions and an introductory session delivered to a group of 8-15 participants. It can be offered in a range of setting, both statutory and community by two trained facilitators who are provided with support and advice from a dedicated team and who are expected to meet a range of monitored quality standards.For those parents who are not group ready and need an introduction to move towards the full programme there is a short online course that can be accessed where suitable.

The SFSC model is designed to support parents to understand how children and young peoples’ behaviour is impacted by age, developmental stage, health and emotional well being; to be aware of the range of strategies that they can utilise and understand how and when to use them; to build better relationships with their children; put appropriate boundaries in place; and support their children to avoid or decrease risk taking behaviour (such as criminal activity, drug taking, early sexual activity etc). SFSC also encourages parents to understand the role of other key individuals in the life of the child including, family members, friends and neighbours and adult professionals.

The programme is designed to create an environment where parents can share information safely and be heard and listened to but also an opportunity to get information and ideas to support them in raising their children.



There are a range of small studies carried out in local areas as well as national studies such as evaluations of large national data sets as with the Karlsen (2013) study. In addition, comparative studies with other parenting programmes from national trials such as the Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinders work Lindsay et al (2011) . There is also a current longitudinal study underway with UCL and Manchester University looking at the impact of the intervention on health and care outcomes for children and young people.




Source Organisation: Race Equality Foundation
Name: Leandra Box