SAAF Programs

The Strong African American Families Programs

Advancing the well-being of African American families
by strengthening family relationships, parenting processes and youth competencies.

The Center for Family Research has been conducting research in African American communities for more than three decades. This research has revealed unique strengths and stressors for African American families that can be best addressed in curriculums specially designed to focus on these families.   Of particular concern is the effect of discrimination on African American families and youth as well as the dangers of substance use and risky sexual behavior among African American youth. Offering African American families an evidence-based, culturally-relevant curriculum provides the best opportunity for ensuring that families can address issues in ways that are meaningful and effective. 

There are two programs associated with SAAF: The Strong African American Families Program (SAAF) for 10-14 year old youth and the Strong African American Families – Teen Program (SAAF-T) for 14-16 year old teens.

Special Features of SAAF Programs:

  • Program content addresses protective and risk factors based on prior research with African American families
  • Parents and youth/teens learn together
  • Scientifically evaluated and shown to be effective
  • Highly interactive to keep participants interested
  • Easy-to-use teaching materials

The Strong African American Families (SAAF) program is a culturally tailored, family-centered intervention for 10-14 year-old African American youth and their caregivers. The goal of SAAF is to prevent substance use and behavior problems among youth by strengthening positive family interactions, preparing youth for their teen years and enhancing caregivers’ efforts to help youth reach positive goals.

The Strong African American Families (SAAF-T) program is a family-centered, strengths-based program. SAAF-T is designed for African American teens aged 14-16 and their caregivers. The program focuses on strategies that help teens make positive decisions regarding their future. SAAF-T addresses risks that can deter positive development, with a particular focus on minimizing sexual risk-taking.