Community Programming

Strengthening Families Program (SFP)

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) – a partnership between Cumberland County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Dickinson College, and Board of Child Care – is a free, community-based, family-friendly prevention program available to families in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, and surrounding communities.

The program provides families with enhanced parenting techniques to build transformative generational life skill changes that strengthen family bonds. This is achieved by working with parents on their parenting skills and helping youth (ages 10-14) with decision-making, life skills, conflict resolution, and peer pressure. Guidance counselors also refer to parents when they see problems beginning at school.

This program provides the tools, language, and safe environment families need to rebuild positive relationships. Participants meet one evening each week for seven weeks, beginning with a group meal. Facilitators meet separately with parents and youth to work on specific topics ranging from coping skills to goal setting, conflict resolution, empathy, understanding developmental changes, avoiding substance abuse, and ways to show love and support. Then, participants reconnect, talk about the new skills they learned, and practice decision-making and joint problem-solving skills through role-playing.

Strengthening Families is designed for families who want to improve parent-child communications, or who may need help addressing anger and strong emotions or building skills that help young people resist peer pressure before permanent harm is done. As problematic behaviors like school truancy, substance abuse, and juvenile crime escalate, the Strengthening Families Program provides the tools, language and safe environment families need to restore trust and build positive relationships.

For more information on SFP or dates and times of the next class, please call (717) 766-7652 x 217 or e-mail