The Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program: Family Reintegration
The award-winning, nationally recognized original version of the Creating Lasting Family Connections® (CLFC) curriculum is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The CLFC program developer, Ted N. Strader, adapted the curriculum specifically to increase skills that fathers and families find useful in preparing for marriage, establishing or re-establishing strong family harmony and supporting adult males who may be in recovery for substance abuse, incarcerated or reentering the community after a period of incarceration, military service, or any other form of physical or emotional separation. The Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program is a personal and family strengthening experience that addresses the following multiple challenging and interconnected issues: personal history of substance abuse (and recovery support); personal safety and violence prevention; sexual health including HIV and other STD prevention; and prison recidivism. The program employs a multi-faceted, strengths-based approach. The program also includes strategies to assist a parent in gaining deep insight in providing effective prevention practices for their children. This program is specifically designed to cultivate an atmosphere of inclusion, respect and cultural sensitivity for adult, at-risk, male audiences traditionally considered to be somewhat resistant and difficult to recruit and retain in a program of significant scope and duration.
In 2009, this "Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program: Family Reintegration" version was identified as a Promising Program by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
The Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program Promotes Family Strengthening Skills for Fathers
- CLFC promotes communication and refusal skills for resisting negative influences.
- CLFC promotes emotional awareness and expression skills so that fathers can process emotions that might have previously negatively impacted their judgment and possibly triggered unhelpful fathering practices and behaviors.
- CLFC promotes relationship and family strengthening skills so that fathers can develop a deep and wide network of positive fatherhood support.
- CLFC promotes self-efficacy, and nurtures personal and family trust and openness so that fathers are more likely to reach out for help with personal and family issues, including those related to fatherhood.
In two quasi-experimental research studies with comparison groups conducted by Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and McGuire & Associates, the adapted version of CLFC also achieved statistically significant improvements in all 9 of the following targeted measures:
- Communication skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Intrapersonal skills
- Emotional awareness skills
- Emotional expression skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Relationship management
- Relationship satisfaction
- Relationship commitment
In addition to the quasi-experimental research studies, respondents to module-specific CLFC retrospective surveys analyzed by McGuire & Associates showed the following promising results:
- 97% of respondents "strongly agree" or "agree" that they feel better about creating expectations and consequences in their family after participating in the program.
- 89% of respondents "strongly agree" or "agree" that because of this training, they have improved their skills in giving positive feedback which includes validating and affirming their children when they express their emotions or feelings.
- 88% more respondents "strongly agree" that they are prepared to help their children say "no" when it is in their best interest following their involvement in CLFC.
- 88% of the participants in CLFC reported that their personal use of alcohol and/or drugs has gone down since they started the program.
- 55% more respondents "strongly agree" that they have confidence in their ability to influence their children regarding alcohol and drug related decisions after participating in CLFC.
The results of the quasi-experimental design studies and retrospective surveys clearly demonstrate that the Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program adapted for reentry fathers has broad and positive statistically significant impact on fatherhood skills. This means fathers are better equipped to positively influence their families and children toward better health and wellbeing.
The Creating Lasting Family Connections® Fatherhood Program Participant Testimonials
"I would like to thank the people who took their time out to show me a better way of living. One big thing I have learned is dealing with my kids. That has been a big help to me and how I can be a better partner and how to deal with people in the world today. I love what I have learned and I use it in my everyday life. I would like to thank the staff here and God bless the people on this staff."
-- Trenity Acklin
"First of all I would like to thank you all for everything you've taught me over these last 10 weeks. I now have a better outlook on how to express my feelings and listen to others. Also, I have learned more about substance abuse and how to teach it to my kids and others. I'm very grateful and pleased with the knowledge I received from this group. Thanks Christopher and Chris."
"I learned a lot about dealing with my children and different ways of handling them. I also learned a lot about drugs and alcohol. This program was helpful in different areas."
-- Johnny Clark
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