A programme designed to strengthen families

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a parenting programme designed to support you to raise happy and successful children by getting access to information and strategies for bringing up your children, meeting other parents, and making sure your voice is heard.

The programme can be accessed through an introductory online version or in a group setting. Read more about it below.

6-week online course

An introduction to SFSC is available as an online six week course, which consists of:
  • Six individualised online sessions released weekly and completed in your own time
  • Six online group discussions facilitated by one of our experienced parenting team

SFSC is for all parents. The programme is run in all communities 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 with disabilities
  • Individuals with very different qualifications and jobs

For the following groups, you may find our face to face programme a better fit:

  • Parents who have limited English literacy 
  • Parents with some learning difficulties

The online course is available for three different age groups, parents of 0-6 year olds; parents of 7-11 year olds, and parents of 12+ year olds.

SFSC online takes place entirely online, it is in two weekly parts.  The first will will see you complete some learning entirely on your own at a time convenient to you. The second part will see you join a small group via an online meeting platform. The group will consist of a group facilitator who is one of our experienced team (and has undergone extensive training to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the programme), and a small group of up to six other parents who are at exactly the same stage of the course as you.

The facilitator will make sure that everyone sticks to a set of pre agreed rules and will support you to contribute as much or as little as you feel comfortable.  You can also contact your group leader separately from the group if you want to talk to them about something you cannot share in the group.

It lasts for six weeks and each week you will complete a module online which should take around one hour (but does not have to be completed all at the same time) and a group discussion session which takes around 50 minutes.

Sign up on the booking page.  Select which age group best fits your child/ren. 

You will need to have access to a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone and connect to the internet via broadband or a data connection. For the group discussions you will need access to a mic and camera (which most laptops, tablets and smartphones have built in).

Each week you will also be given activities to do at home and you will have a chance to reflect on these at the group discussion or get further help on how to do this at home. Previous attendees have found that if they do these, they get more out of the programme.

Complete your weekly session soon after it is released if possible and in advance of your discussion group to get the most out of opportunities to practice the strategies.

SFSC will help you to consider these important parenting questions:

  • How can I motivate my child to complete important tasks?
  • How do I build a better relationship with my child?
  • How do I understand the developmental stages of children?
  • How do I put boundaries in place with my child?
  • What other services are available in my community that can help?

The programme will provide:

  • 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 online course costs £100 for those that have to pay, however you might be able to get access to the course via a local agency such as your Early Help or Parenting Team in your local authority. And sometimes we have funding to make this course free for parents.  If you want to sign up now, you can do so from the booking page on this site.

13-week full course

Access to SFSC is available as a 13 week face to programme, which is delivered in a group setting. The SFSC programme is also 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.

SFSC is for all parents. The programme is run in all communities 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 difficulties
  • Individuals with very different qualifications and jobs
  • People like you!
SFSC is a group-based programme, and you will usually take part alongside 8-12 other parents. The programme will run by two ‘facilitators’, who have undergone extensive training to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the programme.

It lasts for 13 weeks and each week you will attend a 3 hour session. Many groups will also provide refreshments, childcare and transport to make it easier to attend- there is no charge for these.

Get involved! Although the facilitators will give information and techniques to help you, SFSC works best when everyone takes part fully.
The programme will help you to think about your own experiences, and about how your culture and family background have shaped 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.

SFSC will help you to answer these important parenting questions:

  • 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 programme will provide:

  • 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 classes were excellent. The facilitators ensured that everyone was included. They listened to, respected and valued each person. The sessions were always varied, well-paced and interesting. I would recommend this class for every parent.

Parent / on SFSC course