Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Strengthening Families from Prison to Community

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

On 8th September Debby Allen and Lindsey Coombes from Brookes' My Strong Family Centre presented at a launch and networking event for the 'Strengthening Families from Prison to Community' programme in Morpeth, Northumberland.

Building on the national success of the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 (UK), Debby and Lindsey have been working with colleagues in the North East for the past eighteen months to develop a programme that works specifically with families in a prison environment. Whilst programme content and fidelity are maintained, additional material has been added to meet the needs of families in this situation. The seven-session programme is delivered in the prison over a period of three weeks. During this time parents and young people (aged 10-14 years) meet and cover the curriculum. Support is maintained on release from prison, with booster sessions being delivered to the families.

At the launch event Debby and Lindsey presented an overview of the programme, its history and the supporting research, which identifies it as a leading evidence-based programme in the US, UK and Europe. The passion and tenacity of the professionals working with this group were recognised at the event, which over 100 delegates from across the UK attended.

Numerous challenges have been overcome in developing the programme, not least managing to run the programme whilst meeting strict security requirements.

Oxford Brookes University hold the sole licence to adapt and develop the Strengthening Families Programme in the UK. For more information go to: