Info for Organizations


  • Who is SFPY for?
  • What types of organizations run the program?
  • How does the program help at-risk youth and their families?
  • How was the program created?
  • What’s included in the curriculum?
  • What resources does an organization need to run SFPY?

Who is SFPY for?
SFPY is for at-risk youth (ages 12–16) and their families. At-risk youth may be experiencing problems with school, have a history of being in trouble with the law or might have difficulty with anger or conflict in their relationships.  SFPY is also appropriate for families where a family member or youth is experiencing substance use or mental health problems.  The program can be implemented for members

of communities which are considered vulnerable because of high levels of poverty, unemployment or criminal activity. 

Adult participants can include parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or other significant caring adults in the teen’s life.

What types of organizations run the program?
The program is led by trained facilitators through community organizations that include school social work programs, children’s mental health centres, adolescent medicine programs, community agencies or addiction and mental health facilities. The program works well when different organizations come together to oversee and participate in its delivery.

How does the program help at-risk youth and their families?
The SFPY program helps youth to develop resiliency. It helps parents to understand their role in how their children develop attitudes and behaviours that affect their mental health and well-being. It also provides parents with effective strategies for communicating with their kids, guiding their behaviour and acting as their role models.

Youth are engaged in a series of learning activities that allow them to express themselves, find out more about each other and have fun.  The joint parent-teen sessions provide an opportunity for parents and teens to interact in a positive way, to engage in activities on an equal footing and to participate in thoughtful dialogue on challenging topics.

How was the program created?
The prototype for the program is the Strengthening Families Program (SFP)—a 14-week evidence-based program developed by Dr. Karol Kumpfer of the University of Utah. Parent Action on Drugs adapted Dr. Kumpfer’s model to produce a shortened nine-week version that provides an effective curriculum that is easier for families to commit to.

What’s included in the SFPY curriculum?
The SFPY curriculum manual contains the complete, detailed instructions facilitators need to provide the parent, youth and family sessions for the nine week program. The manual includes session outlines, timelines, facilitator information and a complete description of every activity and learning exercise. Facilitator training is also available for an additional fee.

Learn more about the nine-week curriculum »

What resources does an organization need to run SFPY?

A total of four facilitators are needed to deliver the program (two co-group leaders for the youth sessions and two for the parent sessions). If possible, the group leaders should reflect the ethno-cultural diversity of the families in the program.

A site coordinator is also needed to oversee the program, manage logistics and supervise staff. This person should be accessible to families between sessions.

Ideally, both the facilitators and the coordinator should be experienced in working with at-risk youth and parents, and it is strongly recommended that they attend an SFPY workshop for hands-on
training. (Contact TK@parentactionondrugs.org for details or sign up for training
through the curriculum order form.)

Because each session begins with a shared family meal, you will need a space large enough
to accommodate all families comfortably. Separate meeting spaces for parents
and youth are also required. These spaces must be large enough for
the groups to sit comfortably and to move around in.

If possible, it is important to provide childcare for younger siblings while
the sessions are occurring. When providing child care, a separate space
and caregivers will also be required.

Read the Guidelines for Implementing the SFPY Program »