Crisis Hotline: 724 662-2227 | Central Intake: 724 662-2230 | General Information: 724 662-1550

Strengthening Families Program

For Parents and Youth 10-14

For Parents and Youth 10-14 is an exciting opportunity for families as it affords families a chance to spend quality time together while learning new skills through games and fun, interactive activities. Parents and youth attend one evening per week for seven weeks and have lots of fun together while learning ways to promote family bonding, to keep lines of family communication open, and to use family strengths to solve problems together.

Youth spend the first hour of each session together learning about topics such as empathy, how to deal with stress, and peer pressure resistance. Parents meet separately for the first hour to discuss parenting strategies and how to guide their youth in setting goals, making good decisions, and fulfilling responsibilities. The second hour of each session is spent working on fun family activities that promote strong family relationships.

Research shows that a strong bond with a caring adult is one of the most powerful influences on the growth of a child into a responsible, caring, and competent young adult. Parents or caregivers genuinely desire the best for their children. Yet, as their child enters the teenage years, the transitions and developmental changes often pose new challenges for the family. Youth entering the teen years may experience new stressors, such as new schools, new friendships, and new peer influences. They also have more demanding school curriculum, increased homework, added responsibilities, and increased opportunities for independent decision-making. In addition, youth are exposed to many media influences and often confusing messages from TV and the internet. During this time of growth and transition, it is important to strengthen family bonds and to help youth learn new skills to handle the new challenges and to make healthy decisions.

To assist all families with the normal challenges of the teen years, the Mercer County Communities That Care Coalition (CTC) secured a two year grant from Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to implement the evidence-based program, Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14). The Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission, Inc. coordinates SFP 10-14. Since its inception in 2012, an additional two years of funding was awarded by PCCD to continue and expand programming. Due to spectacular outcomes, Mercer County Communities That Care has been able to institutionalize the Strengthening Families Program 10-14 as it has been written into the County’s Prevention Needs-Based Budget which will enable this valuable program to continue.


  • Normal developmental changes in teenagers
  • Ways to show love and set limits
  • How to help youth avoid risks and substance use
  • Effective problem solving


  • Making good decisions and setting goals
  • Empathy and appreciating parents/caregivers
  • How to resist peer pressure and avoid problems with drugs and alcohol
  • Coping with stress

Click here for the Strengthening Families Program FAQ sheet.

We are pleased to offer this family enhancement program to any and all families with youth ages 10-14. There is no cost to attend. A family dinner is served at the beginning of each session and childcare is provided for younger siblings.

The dates and locations will be published here when the program is run again.

For more information call 724 662-1550 extension 113.