Letter: Program focuses on today’s family issues

Published 8:01 am Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Strengthening Families Program at Families First N.C. is an evidenced-based model that works at reducing multiple risk factors for later abuse of drugs and alcohol, mental health problems, delinquency and school failure.

There are five protective factors that are the foundation of the Strengthening Families Approach: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development and social and emotional competence of children.

Using communication and problem solving to combat today’s growing problems through increased protective factors, both caregivers and youth learn through practice and implementation what it means to bond, set limits and boundaries and monitor behaviors.

We have trained facilitators to implement family skills training through activities and social scenarios to help with establishing the tone of communication which result in positive family relationships.

Rowan County United Way supports this program and its efforts to give families the necessary tools to succeed. Their support makes it possible to provide both in-home coaching and group classes for families to attend together.

Program participants cite some of their enjoyable moments as having break-through moments where they were able to bridge the gap while gathering skills to use when dealing with things like stress and peer pressure through games and fun activities. Parents learn to better understand youth and the struggles they face and practice a set of strategies designed to guide their child or children in a positive direction all the while reducing risks for more serious problems during critical periods of time.

Admission for enrollment through Families First’s Strengthening Families Program is currently open. Under COVID-19 restrictions, classes are held once a week through a virtual platform. Incentives and meals are provided.

— Larry Jones Jr.


Editor’s note: Jones is manager for the Strengthening Families Program.