“There was a time when I just needed help. I didn’t know where to turn. My daughter was having a real hard time and I was helping take care of my grandchildren including taking them to school and because I couldn’t make it to work on time, I got laid off and suddenly we were living in my car, and I just needed help. That’s when CYDC stepped in and stepped up,” said Gayle, a graduate of the Strengthening Families Program. “The Strengthening Families Program and other resources opened doors for us that allowed our family to get back on track.”
Carolina Youth Development Center’s (CYDC) Strengthening Families Program, in partnership with the Children’s Trust of South Carolina, is aimed at helping families develop positive discipline practices, stay resilient in tough times, reduce conflict, improve parenting skills, as well as assist children with social skills, relationships, and school performance.
The program consists of 14 educational sessions, each lasting approximately two hours. Sessions start with a family meal and then participants are split into groups, children in one and caregivers in another. Each session focuses on a topic or skill that helps caregivers and children develop bonding skills, set clear and firm boundaries and monitor or develop their emotional well-being.
The Strengthening Families Program is an evidence-based program that allows families to learn and practice protective factors or skills that prevent child abuse, substance abuse and mental health crisis situations.
In 2019-2020 94% of families who registered successfully completed the full program with the following results:
- 88% of parents reported improved family functioning after participating in the program,
- 100% of parents would recommend the program to others, and
- 94% of families were very satisfied with their participation in the program.
CYDC runs three sessions of the program each year, with 2021 sessions starting in February, April and September. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 the February and April sessions are virtual with attendees meeting via Zoom meetings. Attendees are provided gift cards to purchase dinner for their families the night of the sessions. In this virtual format, sessions will also take place twice weekly versus the once-weekly schedule of the in-person sessions.
To qualify for the program, parents must:
- Have one or more children ages 6-11,
- Be willing to have one caregiver participate in each of the 14 sessions, and
- Reside in Berkeley County.
For more information or to sign up for the Strengthening Families Program, please contact Regina Wasser at (843) 421-0081 or Regina.Wasser@cydc.org.