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Strengthening Families

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a 14-week evidence-based family skills training program for high-risk and general population families that is recognized both nationally and internationally. Parents and youth attend weekly SFP skills classes together, learning parenting skills and youth life and refusal skills. The program is delivered by trained personnel that work within the school district. We start the evening with a family style dinner, followed by separate class training for parents and youth, ending with a joint family craft or game. The program runs for  1 ½ hours once a week for 14 weeks, ending with a graduation ceremony.

The Barnegat School District is the only district in Ocean County that provides this program for its families.  This program is traditionally run by an agency like IFPR for families from a few towns, but our program is just for Barnegat families. This program was established in 2013 and in 2022, we added a second Strengthening Families Program for families of students in grades 6-12.

Participants reported:

  • Increased family bonding

  • Increased parental involvement

  • Increased positive parenting skills

  • Increase positive communication

  • Increased family organization

  • Decreased family conflict

  • Decreased youth depression

  • Decreased youth aggression

  • Increased youth cooperation

  • Increased number of prosocial friends

  • Increased youth social competencies

  • Increased youth school grades

If you are interested in the program, please contact Michele Cucinotta at for more information.