SFSC information for parents

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Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a parenting programme designed to support you to raise happy and successful children.  It can help you to:

  • get information and strategies for bringing up your children
  • meet other parents
  • make sure your voice is heard.

We understand that taking part in a parenting programme may seem a little daunting. This page should answer any questions you have about SFSC and let you know what you will need to do when you take part.  If you want to ask us anything else, please contact Leandra Box.

How can I take part in SFSC?

Access to SFSC is available in two forms

  • the 13 week face to  programme, which is delivered in a group setting
  • the six week online programme, which introduces some of the concepts from the 13 week programme.

How does the face to face programme work?

  • The face to face SFSC programme usually takes place in groups of 8-12 parents.
  • The programme lasts for 13 weeks and each week you will attend a three hour session.
  • The programme will run by two ‘facilitators’, who have undergone extensive training to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the programme.
  • Many groups will also provide refreshments, childcare and transport to make it easier to attend- there is no charge for these.

This video should answer some of the questions you have about the face to face programme.

How does the online course work?

  • The online course is made up of six modules.  You should complete one each week.  Each module will take around an hour to complete.  
  • Once you have completed the module, you will attend an online group session via Skype.  
  • The group is facilitated by an SFSC facilitator and will allow you to explore and discuss some of the ideas raised by the online module.

This video should answer some of the questions you have about the online course.

Who is SFSC for?

SFSC is designed to be suitable for all parents and individuals in a parenting role. The programme is run with parents from lots of different backgrounds, including:

  • mums and dads, grandparents, foster carers, and teen parents
  • parents from different ethnic minority communities and faith backgrounds
  • parents who speak different languages
  • parents with disabilities or learning dificulties
  • individuals with very different qualifications and jobs
  • people like you!

The online course may be better suited to parents who struggle to attend more traditional parenting programmes, due to work, study, or distance from programme venues.  You might also prefer the online course if you’re nervous about attending a face-to-face group.

What will I get from participating in SFSC?

SFSC provides a number of strategies to help you tackle the different challenges you face as your child grows up.  

The face to face programme covers parenting issues in detail, including:

  • How can I motivate my child to try their best at school?
  • How do I build a better relationship with my child?
  • How do I stop my teenager getting involved in drinking, drugs, antisocial behaviour or truanting?
  • How do I encourage my partner to participate in my child’s life?
  • How do I put boundaries in place with my child?
  • What youth and parent services are available in my community?

The content of the online programmes is slightly different, giving an introduction to the ideas and techniques explored in the 13 week course. In particular, the online course focuses on the challenges faced by parents of under 5s.

The programme also provides:

  • a safe space to share your views and be listened to
  • an opportunity to get information and ideas to help with decisions about bringing up your children
  • new skills, and support in developing your confidence
  • connections with the wider communities and services in your area.

The SFSC face to face programme is accredited through the Open College Network. This means that you can gain credits for taking part in the programme, which you can use when you apply for a job or if you want to go back into education.

How do I get the most from SFSC?

  • Get involved!  Although the facilitators will give information and techniques to help you, SFSC works best when parents attend every session and take part fully.
  • Use the programme to help you think about your own experiences, and how your culture and family background might shape your parenting style.
  • Each week you will also be given activities to do at home. Previous attendees have found that if they do these, they get more out of the programme.

What have other parents said about SFSC?

  • “I became involved with the Family Intervention Project because of the problems I was having. I had lots going on, some would say my life was “chaotic” and I would definitely say my level of living was poor. SFSC really impacted on my parenting, and gave me time to reflect and make a difference to my family. My life has changed through SFSC and by contact with the FIP and the workers there.”
  • “The classes were excellent. The facilitators ensured that everyone was included. They listened to, respected and valued each person. The sessions were always varied, pacey and interesting. I would recommend this class for every parent.”
  • “Exactly the right material – wish it lasted longer as really appreciate the support network too. Great to take part in a multi-ethnic group – very enlightening.”
  • “I feel more encouraged that I am a better parent than I thought I was.”
  • “It was helpful being able to identify resources in the community and being able to ask questions to get answers to solve problems.”

How do I sign up?

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programmes run online and throughout the UK.

  • Face to face SFSC groups are free to attend and are usually organised by groups in your local community, such as schools, churches or local councils.  Please contact us to find out about programmes near you.  Don’t forget to provide your contact details and postal address so we know where you’re based
  • Individual parents can book onto the online course on the Strengthening Families website.  It costs £100 to participate in the six week course.