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KVC Kansas

Building Healthy Families with KVC Kansas’ Strengthening Families Program

strengthening families program kansas

All families go through tough times. Depending on the strain of the challenges, there can be a negative ripple effect on the overall wellbeing of children and caregivers. Sometimes, families find themselves in this cycle and need professional support. Here’s the good news: there is hope for families to heal, reconnect and stabilize for a long and healthy future together.

Here at KVC Kansas, we are pleased to offer the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) to empower families and equip them with the necessary tools to overcome obstacles together. Like our other services and programs, KVC’s comprehensive and evidence-based therapies significantly impact and promote healthy relationships within families. Get to know the Strengthening Families Program and see why this program has been such a success — and see if it could be a good fit for your family.

Watch this video for a brief overview of the program.

What is the Strengthening Families Program? 

The Strengthening Families Program is a 14-week education and skill-building class aimed at effectively improving the health and stability of children and caregivers at home. The program features a variety of caregiving classes — but what makes this program especially unique? Strengthening Families Program includes the whole family, including children, parents, and other caregivers. Other programs focus on just caregivers or just children. But KVC’s Strengthening Families Program invites and encourages the whole family to get involved. Why? Because involving all family members allows for a more open and collaborative approach that benefits each person. 

“Strengthening Families Program is different because it helps families feel like they can use their skills together.”

strengthening families program

Megan Hosterman, Director of Permanency at KVC Kansas

Each class takes place one night a week and lasts about two and a half hours. The evening begins with a family meal for children, parents and program facilitators. Megan Hosterman, Director of Permanency at KVC Kansas, explains the importance of starting off with a shared meal. “The meal together helps build rapport and create a comfortable environment,” she says.

After dinner, the group splits into children and parents or caregivers. Each group works separately on whatever topic or skill is being practiced that night. Then the groups come back together to finish up the evening. The topics and skills include healthy communication skills, building strong bonds, preventing or addressing substance use, setting child behavior expectations and much more.

The final half-hour unites the children and caregivers for family group activities, as the facilitators help the families implement the skills learned earlier through a game. Megan says, “It’s fun! And families love it. This is a great opportunity to connect while learning and practicing skills.” 

Who Can Benefit From the Strengthening Families Program

The Strengthening Families Program is intended for at-risk families looking for additional resources to help prevent children from entering foster care or to reunify after children have been removed from the home and placed in foster care. This program has also directly impacted families with an adult or juvenile who are under the supervision of county corrections. Families who are looking for continued assistance after in-home therapy, substance use treatment programs and other services would greatly benefit from this program. 

While families have unique reasons for enrolling, the goal is to help families stay together. Referrals can come from community mental health centers, schools, other child and family service providers, and even self-referrals. With the help of skill building, the increase in communication and the healing of hardships within the family, it’s no wonder this program is already a success. 

How Does This Program Help Families?

strengthening families program kansas

Preventative programs like the Strengthening Families Program aim to improve family life and prevent children from entering foster care. Many programs focus primarily on the caregivers. While these can be beneficial, Strengthening Families Program is transformative in how it engages all family members. “This program is not only focused on improving communication, but also on development, and how children’s brains are growing,” Megan explains. In this way, the program helps caregivers understand how to better meet their child’s needs. 

Although improving communication and understanding children’s development is key, the program also helps families build strong bonds, address substance use, set healthy boundaries and more. Each class provides an opportunity to learn and practice these skills with a team of professionals there to help guide families toward a healthier life. It’s the extensive experience of the whole program — knowledge, real-life interactions and skills — that give families the confidence and support they need to thrive. 

So far, the outcomes of this program have been successful in several ways. For children already in foster care, the program has seen an average reunification with families of 190 days less than children in other programs and has significantly helped struggling families overcome hardships and succeed. Other positive outcomes include:

Strengthening Families Program reduced:

  • Children’s self-reported alcohol and drug use
  • Parent and child pro-drug attitudes
  • Children’s problem behaviors and sibling conflict
  • Reduced depression and social isolation

strengthening families program kansasStrengthening Families Program improved:

  • Children’s emotional status, social skills and peer relationships
  • Parent’s parenting knowledge, skills and agreement on discipline
  • Family cohesion, adaptability, communication and clarity of rules

Since participants in the program are voluntary, it is vitally important that children and caregivers gain value from the classes and see it as a positive use of their time. Out of all her experiences working with families, Megan notes how unique the program is. “Strengthening Families Program is different because it helps families feel like they can use their skills together, and it really has the components to bring families together,” she says. And many agree — listen to others share their stories, experiences and successes with SFP. 

Watch These Real Stories of How the Strengthening Families Program Has Impacted People’s Lives

Get Involved

With the Strengthening Families Program, KVC is taking preventative family care into the future. Through our dedication and expertise, families get the support they need to build stronger bonds and foster resilience. Everything comes together to empower families with the skills and knowledge they need to create a nurturing environment that promotes the wellbeing of each family member. If your family or a family you know would benefit from this program or you would like more information, contact Delaney Duff at 913-444-2126 or email at

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