Family Connections Program
The Family Connections Program supports families - with teens - struggling to build strong, healthy relationships with one another. Through our Family Strengthening class, program staff work with families to understand the barriers and behaviors that may be impacting the family dynamic. Program staff share information on parenting styles, adolescent development, and coping strategies to help improve communication, create mutual respect, and develop a family safety plan.
Family Connections helps restore connection for families with:
- A teen between the ages of 13-17 that struggles with following rules and being respectful
- A teen that has had one of more of the following problems in the last six months:
- Aggressive behaviors at home and/or in the community
- Drug and alcohol use
- Running away
- Failing grades
- Poor school attendance/avoidance
Family Connections is only offered to Loudoun County residents. A one-time fee of $60 includes:
- The seven-week Family Strengthening class
- Supportive peer and educational groups
- Family Support Services, offered to families participating in the seven-week Family Strengthening class to assist with implementing the strategics and techniques learned in the class
- Complete the Online Registration to join Family Connections and register for the seven-week Family Strengthening class.
- Program staff will be in touch once the registration is processed.
Family Connections Seven-Week Family Strengthening Class
Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
The Family Strengthening class provides a step-by-step road map that will help improve the relationship with your teenager. Concrete strategies that have proven results are taught by professionals and trained volunteers. The success of the program is due in part to the parent and teen volunteers who offer support from their own experiences.
Each Family Strengthening class runs for seven consecutive weeks – every Tuesday evening from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. At times there may be a gap for a holiday or spring break. Family Connections operates approximately five to six classes per year.
Begin to develop group cohesion, participate in activities to get to know one another better. Discover reasons for teen misbehavior. Break into two groups: One for teens and one for parents and begin to talk about the struggles your family has been experiencing.
Identify "buttons" pushed by teens and parents during conflict and learn "button-busting" strategies. Many teens know how to control the mood and direction of arguments by pushing your buttons. Learn button-buster strategies to stay in charge. In addition, begin to learn parenting styles and the developmental phase your teen is currently in and how it affects their ability to manage their emotions and make decisions.
Learn about the “Behavioral Chain Analysis” and how situations drive thoughts - that drive feelings - that ultimately drive behaviors - that contribute to the family conflict. Create a Family Agreement with expectations & rules that will be followed in the house. Family Agreements are successful because they are developed collaboratively between the teen and parent with the assistance of the program staff & volunteers.
Develop Trigger Safety Plan to prevent negative behaviors and manage your teen’s emotional well-being. Your Trigger Safety Plan will be your guide to handle the times when you are struggling to communicate with your teen and he/she is having a difficult time meeting the agreed upon expectations within the plan. Get support from program staff and other families on how to carry out your plan.
Discuss best practices & strategies to improve the relationship you have with your teen. Share program highlights of the experience and provide positive teen reports, as well as commend families for their participation, growth and improved relationship.
All discussions during the classes are confidential except if the following information is disclosed and has not been reported before: any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) or neglect, homicidal intentions and suicidal thoughts. This applies to all family members participating in the program.
Family Connections Family Support Services
By appointment only
Family support sessions are offered to families that are participating in the Family Strengthening class and wish to continue to work on their relationship and improve family dynamics. Typically, families who choose to participate in these sessions start to receive these services by week three or four of the seven-week class.
All discussions during sessions are confidential except if the following information is disclosed and has not been reported before: any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) or neglect, homicidal intentions and suicidal ideation. This applies to all family members participating in the program.