Strengthening Families… Expanding Prevention Services in our Community
We are excited to announce the award of a Texas Health and Human Services Commissions grant, Strengthening Families Program (SFP) that began at the first of September and will be in place for a full five year cycle. Sites for the program include selected elementary and middle school campuses in Houston ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Spring ISD and Aldine ISD. Families are referred by counselors and Communities in Schools staff. They are also recruited at school events like Open House Night, Coffee with the Principal and school fairs. The aim is to strengthen family resiliency skills at a crucial time of development for young adolescents.
SFP offers sessions for six to ten families per group over a ten week session at each site. The sessions are held during the school year and in the summers at community center sites. Participating children and their parents meet separately for an hour, have a break and snack time together and then reassemble for a combined group of children and adults for an additional hour. These groups are led by two separate facilitators. The topics change from week to week and include research and skill -based lessons: the daily practice of complimenting the good and elimination of harsh criticism; making family rules and reward systems for good behavior; creating family traditions, learning about and engaging in social services available in the community; learning how drugs and alcohol hijack the brain; problem solving through win-win negotiations and pre-problem solving to stay out of trouble and many other beneficial family techniques. The vocabulary used is age appropriate and the overall intention is to build resiliency in children and families enabling them to reach their full potential, one of Santa Maria’s overriding goals.
We are pleased to introduce our staff recently hired to lead SFP. Please help us welcome Luz Daris Mosquera who holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in Community Education and Development and Luz Nelly Barrera with her Bachelor’s in Social Work. They serve as our facilitators and program leads. Both Ms. Mosquera and Ms. Barrera came to us after distinguished service at Escape Family Resource. They work directly with Teresa Garcia, Senior Director of Intervention and Prevention Services, expanding the wide array prevention services we offer.
With children facing the introduction of substance experimentation as early as elementary school, this researched-based program goes a long way to build the resiliency of families in many parts of our community. It is the face of RecovHERy.