Families and Schools Together

Program basics

  • Group-based family intervention for at-risk youth
  • Groups of nine to twelve families come together for eight meetings, each including a meal, structured activities, parent support, and parent-child play therapy
  • Activities are facilitated by a trained team consisting of parents, teachers, school representatives, and community-based workers
  • Families participate in monthly follow-up meetings for two years after initial programming

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)

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Proven (highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice


Target population

All school-aged children

Program cost

$14,700 for a cohort of 40 families

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

1990s-present

Outcomes and impact

  • Strong evidence of behavior and social skills improvement in children
  • Improved family relationships, parent engagement with school community, and parenting confidence
  • Reduced rate of children switching schools
  • Increased school safety

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • The program is based heavily on social research and draws evidence-based practices for its programming and implementation.
  • The experiential dimensions of the program, where families learn and practice positive parenting, encourage lasting behavioral change within families.
  • In bringing multiple families together, families are better able to build connections that strengthen support at home, in school, and within their broader communities.
  • Almost 60% of program materials are able to be adapted in order to reflect the local culture, ethnicity, language, gender balance, and socioeconomic status of the families served.

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