family of 6 sitting in grass


The Strengthening Christian Families Program International (SCFP Int’l) is an adaptation of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP).

The SFP was developed in 1982 by Dr. Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D. and associates, with funding from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. It is an evidence-based parenting program designed to help parents and children develop happier family relationships and to help keep children addiction-free. It has been updated and proven effective with families in all 50 states in the USA and 36 foreign countries.

The SFP was updated in 2015 with a video series for families, by Karol Kumpfer and Jaynie Brown. 

The SCFP International (SCFP Int'l) was developed in 2016 by Leslie Wannemacher and used in the context of SE Asia.

SCFP Int'l has been recently updated and expanded in 2023 as Strengthening Communities and Families. This new version is the original SCFP Int'l with the addition of several new topics that had been requested by parents and teachers.

The teaching manuals in the new curriculum give thorough explanations of the concepts with the addition of more examples, demonstration role-plays, activities, games, and handouts.

The SCFP Strengthening Communities and Families version can be adapted and used in multiple cultural contexts.

Cheeseman family walking
family of 3 in train car window


If a child makes it to age 21 without smoking, drinking alcohol, or using other drugs, he or she will likely never become addicted—which shows that it is mainly an adolescent problem that can be prevented.

A child’s peers are the #1 greatest risk factor in whether they will experiment with tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

Research shows that the strongest protective factor in a child’s life is the family, which includes a close relationship with a caring, responsive adult.

Parents trained in bonding, setting boundaries and monitoring their child’s activities can prevent most teen drug and alcohol abuse, allowing them to grow up with happier family relationships and brighter futures.

4 girls from Bangladesh, Marc Ewell


There are both risk factors and protective factors that can contribute to harming or protecting youth from substance abuse and other delinquent behaviors.

Risk factors have the potential to harm children and make it more likely that they will choose to use tobacco, alcohol, and other harmful drugs. Protective factors help prevent substance abuse. The risk factors are the areas that we need to try to minimize in our children’s lives as much as possible.

SCFP International seeks to minimize the risk factors in a child’s life and increase their protective factors. This helps to build a child’s personal resiliency against potential problems in their lives and increases the chances that they won’t resort to using alcohol or other drugs to cope with their problems. Most importantly, it is Scripture-based, and points them to a personal relationship with Jesus to help them cope with their problems.

The four major areas of influence in a child’s life which can be sources of harm or protection are their:

  • Society & Community
  • Peers/Friends
  • Family
  • Individual personality


Leslie works with SIL International. She is the developer and coordinator of the Strengthening Christian Families Program International. She has lived with her husband in Southeast Asia for 33 years where they raised their 3 children. She is an educator, and has done graduate work in linguistics. Leslie taught elementary students at an international school in Thailand for 14 years. The switch to strengthening families through Scripture engagement began 9 years ago in response to the overwhelming need expressed by local people in the context of mainland Southeast Asia.

my family