The Strengthening Families programme

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

With A Little Help From Our Friends: The Strengthening Families Programme

10-14 (UK), A Success Story.


The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (SFP10-14) was developed in the US and was highlighted in a Cochrane review (Foxcroft et al 2002) as being a promising prevention intervention over the longer term (> 3 years).

Young people who participate in the programme are significantly less likely to have problems with alcohol, substance use, truancy, cheating, peer resistance and conduct problems. In addition to this, research has shown that young people who have undertaken the programme have increased school attendance and attainment (Spoth 2008 et al).

Funding from the Alcohol Education Research Council in 2004 provided the opportunity to carry out a cultural adaptation of the US programme, and trial of the revised materials to meet the needs of a UK audience (Allen et al 2006). On completion of the research, the ‘My Strong Family Centre’ was established within the School of Health and Social Care (Oxford Brookes University), to disseminate the programme to appropriate agencies across the UK. Subsequent funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, as part of the Family Intervention Project (Respect Agenda), and the National Academy of Parenting Practitioners training (Parenting Early Intervention Projects and Mental Health Pathfinders Initiatives) has resulted in the training of over 1,000 practitioners to deliver the programme to families across the UK. The SFP 10-14 (UK) is currently being delivered to families in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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Dr Debby Allen