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, counselors work with families to understand the barriers and behaviors that may be impacting the family dynamic. Counselors 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
- Suicidal thoughts
Family Connections is only offered to Loudoun County residents. A one-time fee of $60 includes:
- The 7-Week Family Strengthening class
- Voluntary participation in the Alumni Group, offered to families that have completed the 7-week Family Strengthening class
- Private Family Counseling, offered to families participating in the 7-week Family Strengthening class
- Family Connections also connects families to other families within Loudoun experiencing similar challenges and encourages these families to reach out to one another for added support.
- Complete the Online Registration to join Family Connections and register for the 7-week Family Strengthening class.
- Program Staff will be in touch once the registration is processed.
Family Connections 7-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 professional counselors 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 7 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 5-6 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 counselors & 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 counselors 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 Alumni Group
Wednesdays 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Alumni Group is made up of teen and parent graduates of the 7-week Family Strengthening class. The group meets Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring a dish to share and everyone enjoys the potluck style dinner together. After dinner the group give parents and teens added support to continue making changes through the informal process of break-out sessions for teens and parents. Volunteers and counselors are present to help tweak family contracts, provide support and ideas.
Family Connections Private Family Counseling
By appointment only
Private family counseling 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 family therapy start to receive these services by week 3 or 4 of the 7-week class. If interested in beginning family counseling please contact the Program Manager at (571) 258-3071 to be matched with a therapist that meets your family’s unique needs.
All discussions during therapy 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.