Jeannette Families Help Youth To Navigate The Normal Challenges Of The Teen Years.

Posted: March 24, 2014

Thursday evenings at McKee Middle School in Jeannette provided families of 5th and 6th graders with an opportunity for special one on one time and to learn strategies to help them cope with the challenges of the approaching teen years. Twelve families completed the seven week Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 (PROSPER).
Roseanne Boettner and Brianna Boettner completed a family shield demonstrating their family values during the SFP 10-14 program held at McKee Middle School in Jeannette.

Roseanne Boettner and Brianna Boettner completed a family shield demonstrating their family values during the SFP 10-14 program held at McKee Middle School in Jeannette.

In 2013, two years of start-up funding was awarded by the Pennsylvanian Commission on Crime and Delinquency to implement the Strengthening Families Program for Parents/Caregivers and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) in the city of Jeannette.  With the support of the Jeannette City School District, twelve families completed the seven week evidence based program in March 2014.

This program is part of PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience), a community-wide effort to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among youth.

SFP 10-14 was developed for Project Family of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State University.  The program consists of seven highly interactive, video-based sessions conducted over seven consecutive weeks.  The program has received numerous global and national recognitions including being named as a Center for the Student and Prevention of violence (CSPV) Blueprints for Violence Prevention Model Program. 

The content of the program is designed to:

  • Enhance and promote effective parenting skills, such as setting limits, using appropriate consequences, communicating expectations, and protecting against substance abuse and problem behaviors.
  • Build life skills in youth, including goal setting, stress management, conflict resolution, empathy and appreciation, and peer pressure resistance
  • Strengthen family bonds by creating a shared understanding of family values, building family communication,promoting joint problem solving skills, and enabling families to recognize individual and family strengths and spend special time together.

Youth completing the program have shown that they are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. They are also less likely to demonstrate aggressive and destructive behavior and are more likely to resist peer pressure. Participating parents and caregivers demonstrated increased ability to set appropriate limits and show affection and support for their children.

Research has demonstrated SFP 10-14 to be cost effective with a return of $9.60 for each dollar invested.Savings of up to $5,923 per participating family can be realized when SFP 10-14 is implemented with quality and model adherence. By serving 12 families, SFP 10-14 potentially saved $71,000 for Westmoreland County and the Jeannette community.

Jeannette caregivers completing the program stated that the most valuable thing they learned is:

  • How to deal with different situations in a calm way.
  • How my child thinks and feels.  I liked that it got us to talk more.
  • Understanding common stresses that may affect my child's behavior and ways to approach youth with the issues. 
  • Setting goals and talking about family values. 

Youth participating in the program said that they learned to:

  • Treat your family with respect. 
  • Take steps to reach my goals. 
  • Calm down when I'm stressed. 

For further information or to register for an upcoming program, please contact Anne Lail (724-837-1402) or visit PROSPER