Families and Schools Together

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can help address educational disparities, promote healthy childhood environments, and prevent violence. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • 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
Target Population
All school-aged children
Cost per Participant
$14,700 for a cohort of 40 families

Evidence and impacts


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

  • 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

Best practices in 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.