Exploring Barriers to At-Risk Family Participation in the Washington D.C. Strengthening Families Prevention Program

Myriam Vilmenay, University of Maryland at College Park

Family-based prevention programs targeting at-risk populations have been plagued with concerns of attrition and non-participation. In order to assess the efficacy of such programs, it is imperative to focus on retention and participation strategies. The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a family-based prevention program in the Washington D.C. Area that will be concluding its final year of evaluation this year. This evaluation effort has experienced many difficulties with high attrition: An estimated 30% of families recruited for the program do not attend training sessions. In this exploratory study, a brief telephone survey will be administered to SFP non-attendees to research the barriers to program participation. Implications from these findings will assist in the development of strategies to increase and retain at-risk family involvement in preventive interventions.

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Updated 05/20/2006