Advanced training for SFSC facilitators

Contact the SFSC administrator

Our advanced training workshops give trained facilitators the opportunity to enhance their delivery skills. Each workshop session is grounded in the context and ethos of SFSC and offers trained facilitators continued personal and professional development.

All workshops are delivered by two experienced trainers, using a variety of experiential and participative learning methods.

Courses are only available to trained SFSC facilitators, except for the START training.

Visit the events page for training dates

Delivering to parents with learning difficulties

After the successful development of a parent manual for parents with learning disabilities, the Race Equality Foundation has now developed a course for facilitators to support them in providing a more inclusive and accessible service for parents with learning difficulties. Among other things, the course will advise facilitators on:

  • the length of sessions
  • appropriate activities to encourage parent participation
  • effective use of the easy-read text and images parent manual.

For more information on this project, see the Developing SFSC for parents with learning disabilities page or contact Beverley Thompson.

Delivering to parents of under fives

This course is for facilitators who work in early year’s settings and wish to make sure that their delivery of SFSC meets the needs of parents with under-5s.  The course draws on a newly developed set of facilitator notes and resources which supplement the existing curriculum and help facilitators tailor their delivery to this group. The course will bring together practitioners from this sector to:

  • Explore the needs of parents of young children
  • Introduce the new course materials and how to use them
  • Understand the developmental stages of children under 5
  • Develop confidence in tailoring the SFSC curriculum whilst maintaining programme fidelity.

Effective group work

This workshop tackles some of the tougher challenges of running a group, by helping experienced facilitators to:

  • further develop and consolidate their group working skills
  • implement effective group work strategies
  • understand and guide groups with different dynamics
  • reassure parents who feel apprehensive about sharing their experiences
  • resolve potential conflict situations between group members
  • provide a safe, non-threatening and enjoyable environment for participants.

Implementing the programme

This ‘solution-focused’ workshop is designed for recently trained SFSC facilitators.

The workshop helps facilitators to:

  • tackle possible problems and questions frequently asked by first time SFSC facilitators
  • develop a framework for planning, implementing and effectively running SFSC
  • explore co-facilitation and group work.

Managing challenging participants in a group work setting

This ‘solution-focused’ workshop is designed for recently trained SFSC facilitators.

The workshop helps facilitators to:

  • tackle possible problems and questions frequently asked by first time SFSC facilitators
  • develop a framework for planning, implementing and effectively running SFSC
  • explore co-facilitation and group work.

Managing the co-facilitation process

This skills-based course explores best practice strategies for managing and enhancing co-facilitation, examining:

  • the value of co-facilitation
  • ways to build effective relationships with parents and other facilitators
  • methods to increase confidence and competence in co-facilitation
  • facilitators’ own strengths, to raise awareness of what they can bring to the process.

Quality assurance and self-assessment in delivering SFSC

This course is to introduce a new element to the SFSC quality assurance system; a self-assessment tool which will help facilitators and delivering agencies reflect on what they do well and how to improve their work with parents.  Put together with the existing paper collection and programme visits, this tool will complete an extensive QA system and an evidenced based approach.  Participants will:

  • Receive the self-assessment guide and standards and work through them with trainers
  • Explore the value of programme fidelity and its relationship to QA
  • Review SFSC delivery and their own facilitation strengths

SFSC as a violence prevention tool

This workshop examines the violence prevention aspects of the SFSC programme, helping facilitators to:

  • explore the impact of violence upon families and relationships, from both a historical and contemporary perspective
  • share good practice when ‘safeguarding’ and promoting a violence-free lifestyle
  • overcome the challenges they may encounter when discussing violence
  • boost their confidence in delivering SFSC, even when facing opposition from parents, practitioners or their own values.

SFSC refresher course


This two day workshop is intended for practitioners who have previously completed the five day Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities training but have had a break before or between delivering the programme to parents.  The refresher workshop will also help facilitators who do not feel confident about their understanding or delivery of the curriculum.


The workshop aims to:

  • revisit the evidence and concepts that inform SFSC;
  • review the SFSC curriculum and the methods used to deliver it to parents; and
  • provide an opportunity to practice delivery.

Qualifications and experience needed

Delegates must have completed the five day SFSC training course.

Format of the day

This tried and tested workshop will include:

  • interactive exercises;
  • exploration of evidence on parenting and the outcomes for children;
  • modelling of effective practice in programme delivery;
  • signposting to other support and resources;  as well as
  • opportunities for individuals to practice and reflect on how they can implement best practice.


Participants will receive a free copy of the latest edition of the SFSC facilitator manual, worth £100.

Outcomes of the training

By the end of the two day workshop participants will:

    demonstrate improved understanding of how parents can improve the outcomes for their children;

  • understand how to deliver SFSC to all parents;
  • demonstrate how they can deliver SFSC using best practice;
  • demonstrate how to create and maintain a safe and supportive environment for learning to take place; and
  • understand the importance of maintaining the fidelity of the SFSC programme;

Additional benefits

Benefits of the day include:

  • better able to meet the requirements of the National Occupational Standards for Working with Parents;
  • better respond to the changing environment for early years education as a result of the Nutbrown review (2012) Foundations for Quality;
  • learning for continuous professional development; and
  • opportunity to meet others, often from different agencies but with shared interests.

Signposting: Where to now?

This workshop outlines strategies to support parents during and after the SFSC programme, helping facilitators to:

  • explore issues raised by parents in SFSC groups
  • identify needs that can be met by the group, and those which should be referred to external agencies
  • identify local agencies to which referrals can be made.

Start young people's programme

Start is a training programme for children and young people aged between 10-16.  Based on the success of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parenting programme, this three day course prepares participants to deliver the Start programme, by:

  • familiarising participants with the concepts and curriculum of the programme
  • giving techniques for working with children and young people
  • introducing co-facilitation methods appropriate to Start.

Tackling extremism and the radicalisation of young people

This workshop supports Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities Facilitators to ensure their group parenting work supports parents to tackle extremism and the radicalisation of young people.

Facilitators will be shown how to use the SFSC curriculum to address issues of extremism and radicalisation, by linking to the core SFSC aim of promoting healthy violence free communities.  Emphasis will be placed on the role of parents in safeguarding children.

All participants will receive detailed guidance notes to supplement the existing curriculum and other resources including additional slides and a DVD.

Trained SFSC facilitators can find out more about the workshop by visiting the Strengthening Practice website (requires sign in).

Working with black and minority ethnic families

This workshop is particularly targeted at practitioners (in a range of settings) and policy and strategic managers with responsibility for engaging black and minority ethnic families within mainstream services.
The workshop aims to:

  • give participants an overview of key research about  the experiences  and support needs of black and minority ethnic  parents and children
  • provide an understanding  of ‘what works’ derived from the evidence base
  • signpost participants to sources of further information