How does SFSC work?

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SFSC is a universal programme, which helps parents with children aged up to 18 years to think about how their actions and experiences may influence their parenting style. In particular, SFSC helps parents to:

  • gain a better understanding of child development
  • use positive discipline techniques
  • promote children’s social skills and self-discipline
  • achieve positive change in family relationships
  • explore and develop strategies to deal with factors that risk poor outcomes for children, such as harsh and/or inconsistent discipline.

See the evidence and evaluation page for more information.

Teaching style

SFSC draws on social learning theory and uses interactive learning methods, such as

  • encouraging parents to share their experiences and values
  • undertaking practical activities, which are then built on through homework.

Fidelity is ensured through a structured quality assurance process which includes data collection (demographic and impact evidence) and observations by our team of experienced Programme Officers.

The structure of the SFSC programme

The Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme is structured into five component areas. Information from the different component areas is integrated throughout the 13 session curriculum.

Cultural/spiritual component area
SFSC seeks to assist parents and children in understanding the family/cultural components that influence their beliefs, values and behaviour.  Parents and children are encouraged to reconnect to positive aspects of their past as a way of assisting them to develop the strength and motivation they may need to achieve healthy lifestyles.

Rites of Passage component area
SFSC provides parents with information and activities to assist their children’s development in ten ‘rite of passage’ areas (personal, spiritual, physical, mental, cultural, historical, emotional, economic, social and political). This allows them to acquire the social competencies they need to successfully make the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Enhancing Relationships component area
This component area consists of three separate topic areas:

  • Enhancing the Parent–Child Relationship
  • Developmental Information
  • Violence Prevention Techniques.

The programme presents a variety of positive communication strategies and information that prepare parents to ‘respond’ instead of ‘react’ to their children’s attitudes and behaviours.

Process of Discipline component area
The SFSC programme helps parents to understand how they can use a variety of different techniques by reviewing a process of discipline to help children develop high self-esteem, self-discipline and social competence. This component area can be broken into three segments:

  • Increasing Respectful Behaviour
  • Parent and Child ‘Choices’
  • Decreasing Disrespectful Behaviour.

Community Involvement component area
The SFSC programme seeks to enhance parent awareness of:

  • violence against the self (drugs/alcohol, depression/suicide)
  • violence against the family (child abuse, domestic violence and abuse)
  • violence in the community (gangs, crime).

To empower parents to become more involved in community violence prevention efforts, parents are guided in accessing and utilising community resources and in developing leadership skills to actively participate in community groups which promote violence-free, healthy lifestyles.

Find out more about the development of the programme.