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Strengthening Families Programme (Oxford Brookes University)

An intervention to prepare children for adolescence and prevent pathways to offending.

Project summary

  • Funding awarded: £1,103,065
  • Duration of programme: 3 years
  • Number of beneficiaries: 514
  • Replication areas (England): Central Lancs, Manchester, Luton, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow and Dorset
  • Partners: Dorset Youth Association and Lifeline Project

Intervention: Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK)

The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK) is a seven-week, evidence-based programme to help families with young people aged between 10 and 14-years-old to prepare for teenage years.

The programme is aimed at reducing alcohol and substance misuse, behavioural problems in adolescence and strengthening the parent/carer-child relationship.

Targeted outcomes of the programme include: increased parenting skills; improved family competency; prevention of substance use/misuse; reduced youth aggressive and hostile behaviour; increased academic success. These can be achieved by building protective factors (eg supportive family) and reducing the risk factors (eg poor communication), which are strongly related to pathways to offending.


The seven-week programme is delivered weekly over two hours. Each two-hour meeting consists of a parent/carer session and a young people’s session running in parallel for the first hour. This is followed by a one-hour family session where parents and young people work together.

Parent/carer sessions include: using love and limits; encouraging good behaviour; using consequences; building parent-youth relationships; protecting against substance misuse.

Young people’s sessions include: having dreams and goals; appreciating parents; dealing with peer pressure and the characteristics of good friends. Family sessions bring together key points through games and activities promoting the attributes and development of positive families.

Replication areas:

  • Oxford Brookes University will focus on implementing the intervention within the Muslim community. It will deliver SFP10-14 (UK) in Luton, Tower Hamlets and Newham.
  • Lifeline Project will work with families in the North of England, where there is an identified substance misuse issue and replicate the programme using their particular expertise in this area..
  • Dorset Youth Association will work in rural Dorset where transport issues lead to lower take up of programmes.

Delivery organisation: Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes is one of the UK’s leading modern universities and enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation as well as strong links with business and industry.

Contact details

Oxford Brookes