The Strengthening Families Program: Building Stronger Families Together

NOTE: As of Feb. 29, 2024, Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) has rebranded to Landmarks for Families. Our nonprofit, community programs and residential services remain committed to cultivating thriving youth and families in this new chapter.

At Carolina Youth Development Center, we firmly believe that stronger families build stronger communities. We are committed to providing parents, guardians, and the children they love with the tools for their and our community’s shared success. Our Strengthening Families Program is an effective initiative designed to help families and children succeed. We view this as a foundational program – a “Parenting 101” – with immense potential for aiding families experiencing or on the cusp of disruption and difficulty. 

Program Overview

The Strengthening Families Program is a 14-session program consisting of (typically) one-and-a-half-hour sessions. Each session begins with a family meal, allowing families to bond and share a positive experience together. After the provided dinner, parents and children engage in separate, simultaneous work with their group leaders before, finally finishing with shared activities. CYDC currently offers two tracts for families based on child age:

Elementary-Aged: This tract supports parents of children ages 6 to 11 to develop positive discipline practices; inspire resiliency; reduce conflict; improve parenting skills; and assist children with social skills, relationships, and school performance. It also teaches parents to be consistent and/or direct when disciplining their child/ren in a way that allows the youth to understand the rationale behind the correction. 

Middle School-Aged: This tract supports parents of children ages 12 to 16 with drug and alcohol education and prevention; home strengthening techniques, such as establishing homework time, shared dinner time, and positive discipline practices; how to connect with their child; and case management services. The program is designed to teach parents how to change their style of discipline, not only to reach their growing child but also to gain buy-in from their young adults so the youth understand the direction of correction and the purpose for it. 

Program Impact

The Strengthening Families Program’s proven impact includes a significant improvement in family functioning, parent-child relationships, and child behavior. In just 14 sessions, our facilitators have witnessed the program help participating families learn to:

We know that your family’s best interest is always at heart, but sometimes even tight-knit units need a helping hand to succeed. That’s why CYDC is here to support you in reaching a healthy, stable family where love, hope and happiness thrive. 

  1. Develop Positive Discipline Practices

While unfortunate, many families resort to negative disciplinary techniques, such as yelling, spanking or even physical abuse. These techniques can lead to unintended negative outcomes, such as a breakdown in parent-child relationships, increased aggression and violent tendencies in children, as well as decreased self-esteem and overall well-being for both the parent and child.

  1. Remain Resilient in Challenging Times

Throughout our lives, we may face challenges, such as financial hardships, job loss and illness. These difficult situations can strain the individual and the family, leading to increased conflict and tension. However, it’s important to remember that, though the clouds may roll in, the overcast is only temporary. The sun will always shine again.

In the Strengthening Families Program, families learn how to remain resilient through adversity. Participants learn to communicate effectively, manage stress and cope with difficult situations. With the skills learned throughout these sessions, families can better manage difficult situations and come out stronger on the other side.

  1. Reduce Conflict

Conflict is a natural part of family life. However, it can be detrimental if it becomes too frequent or intense, even leading to a breakdown in communication, decreased trust, and an overall negative impact on family relationships.

The Strengthening Families Program teaches families how to reduce conflict and improve communication. By learning how to communicate effectively, listen actively and express their emotions in a healthy way, program participants reduce conflict and strengthen their relationships for a more positive home environment.

  1. Improve Parenting Skills

Effective parenting is essential for children’s healthy development and success. The Strengthening Families Program helps parents to improve their skills by providing them with evidence-based strategies and support.

Parents learn how to set realistic expectations, provide consistent discipline, and offer positive reinforcement for good behavior. They also learn how to communicate effectively with their children; enabling them to provide emotional support and guidance.

  1. Assist Children with Social Skills, Relationships and School Performance

Children face many challenges as they grow and develop, many of which occur outside the circle of influence afforded to their caregivers. The Strengthening Families Program provides children with the tools and support they need to succeed both at home and out in the world.

Children learn how to build positive relationships with peers and adults, communicate effectively and develop social skills that will serve them throughout life. They also receive support for academic success, including homework help and strategies for staying motivated and focused.

Program Perks

As an added bonus for our participants, the Strengthening Families Program offers numerous incentives and rewards for their commitment. Perks of the program include the following:

  • Weekly gift card or prize giveaways
  • A free dinner at every session
  • Grand prizes are offered at graduation

CYDC Is Here For Your Family

Remember, family is more than those who share our DNA. It’s the loving and supportive people who surround us. Whether you are a mother or father, grandparent or caregiver, Carolina Youth Development Center is here to lead your child and/or family through adversity. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and speak with a member of our team. 

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CYDC is now Landmarks for Families!

For more than 230 years, we have guided neighbors toward stronger, hopeful futures and now we’re evolving too. We’re grateful to enter this new chapter with you. Welcome to Landmarks for Families!