About the Program

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is the first research-based parenting program specifically designed for substance-abusing parents with children ages six to 14 years old. Targeting families at high risk, the Strengthening Families Program provides a direct service by presenting a skill-building curriculum for both parents and children.

Staff/Contact Information

Mary Carroll

Strengthening Families Program Director
1625 Hertel Ave.
Buffalo, N.Y. 14216
716.831.2298, ext. 117

Karen Oliver

1625 Hertel Ave.
Buffalo, N.Y. 14216
716.831.2298, ext. 116


The Strengthening Families Program Topics for Youth Include:

      • Group Rules
      • Conversation Skills
      • Social Skills, Giving and Accepting Rules
      • Creating Good Behavior, Secret Rules of Success
      • How to Say “no” to Trouble
      • Communicating – Speaking and Listening
      • Communicating – Discussing
      • Alcohol and Other Drugs, Substance Abuse
      • Problem Solving
      • Parent’s Game, Giving Directions
      • Coping Skills – Recognizing Feelings
      • Coping Skills – Dealing with Criticism
      • Coping Skills – Dealing with Anger
      • Finding Resources for Help

Program Goals

Program goals for SFP include:

  • improved parenting knowledge and skills
  • improved parent/child relationships
  • decreased depression in parents
  • reduced family conflict
  • increased family organization/cohesion
  • decreased depression and conduct problems among children
  • improved school success/grades
  • reduced parental abuse of alcohol/drugs
  • reduced use of alcohol/tobacco in children

Topics for Parents

The Strengthening Families Program Topics for Parents Include:

      • Building Resiliency in Youth – Listening for Feelings – Supporting Children’s Goals
      • Characteristics of pre-teens/teens and building a strong relationship
      • Using “I” statements with youth
      • Using consequences for misbehavior
      • Setting rules and monitoring behavior
      • Parents as teachers, involvement with school, protecting against drug and alcohol abuse, using parenting tools to solve problems