Strengthening Families Program in Perry

 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Dallas County believes building strong communities begins with building strong families. Those wishing to reinforce or improve bonds with their child are encouraged to participate in Strengthening Families Program (SFP): For Parents and Youth Ages 10-14.
This seven week series will take place at the Perry Middle School on Mondays, September 8-October 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with a free meal beginning at 6 p.m. During the first hour of the weekly sessions, parent and child are separated. As adults discuss problem solving approaches, effective communication and using loving methods to set limits for their son or daughter, youth will engage in topics of how to deal with stress, set goals and handle peer pressure. In the second hour, families unite and interact through activities to solidify lessons and work toward building more stable relationships.
“When you work with your children to give them the right tools to become a responsible young adult, you are helping not just your children, not just your family but also the whole community because you are raising kids who become responsible,” said ISU Extension Family Program Specialist, Rosa Gonzalez.
SFP has proven effective in delaying the initiation of substance abuse and reducing risky behavior in youth. Research has shown through benefit-cost analysis for every dollar put into this program, $9.60 is returned to the community due to a reduction in substance abuse treatment and less involvement with law enforcement. Findings also concluded both child and parent improved their focus and created positive environments for themselves in school and the workplace.
“This is the best thing that our family could have done,” expressed a past Dallas County participant. “We’re going to continue doing family meetings every week that will help us stay in communication with one another, and our goal is to have a sit down dinner at least five nights out of the seven at the table as a family.”
To register for the Strengthening Families Program in Perry, contact Rosa Gonzalez at (515) 490-2298 or

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