Strengthening Families Autism
Families caring for children with autism are frequently without adequate supports. Provinging care can be a 24-hour a day proposition and finding qualified individuals to provide interim care is challenging.
Families caring for children with autism are at risk for:
- Substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviors
- Feelings of neglect
Advancing Opportunities, working with the developers of the Strengthening Families Program and Autism New Jersey, has designed a free family skills building program specifically addressing the concerns and challenges faced by the parents and siblings of children with autism.
The curriculum includes three courses, Parenting Skills Training, Children's Skills Training and Family Life Skills Training, taught in weekly two-hour sessions over 20 weeks.
The Children's Skills Training sessions will be modified to accommodate the educational level and abilities of the children with austim and their siblings. Activities and supervision will be provided for siblings who are too young or are unable to participate.
In addition to the training classes, the Strengthening Families Special Needs Support Program includes a case managment component aimed at helping families recognize and connect with the supports within their community. Objectives of the Program are:
- Improve Family Relations
- Increase Parenting Skills
- Improve Child's Behavior
- Increase Child's Social Competencies
- Reduce or Prevent Incidence of Substance Abuse
Strengthening Families Program History
The core Strengthening Families Program is a behavioral and cognitive skills training series developed by Dr. Karol L. Kumpfer at the University of Utah in 1982. Since then, it has been recognized by many federal agencies as a robust and effective means of increasing assets and protective factors by improving family relationships, parenting skills and children's social and life skills.
The initial Strengthening Families Program was developed to prevent substance abuse by children in families affected by drugs and alcohol. It has been adapted to help families who face a variety of different stressful situations. Strong, effective families may avert many adverse outcomes.
For more information about Strengthening Families Special Needs Support Program or to register for the next training series, contact the agency at 888-322-1918 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding for the program is provided by the Department of Children and Families.