Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Building Strong Families

  • Shawndeeia L. DrinkardEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_377

Name of Model

Building Strong Families


The Building Strong Families project was jointly developed in 2002 by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The project was developed to address the high rates of children in the United States who are born to unmarried parents (Dion et al. 2010). Current and past literature suggests that children born to unmarried parents are at a higher risk for many negative outcomes such as living in poverty and experiencing barriers to quality education than children who are raised by their married biological parents. To address these concerns, the Building Strong Families (BSF) project was initiated to serve unmarried, romantically involved couples who were expecting a baby or had recently had a baby (Dion et al. 2010).

Prominent Associated Figures

According to the BSF project report, the developers of the BSF curriculum were: Julie and...

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  1. Dion, M. R., & Hershey, A. M. (2010). Relationship education for unmarried couples with children: Parental responses to the building strong families project. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 9(2), 161–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dion, M. R., Avellar, S., & Clary, E. (2010). The building strong families project: Implementation of eight programs to strengthen unmarried parent families. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  3. Hershey, M., & Alan, A. H. H. Z. (2006). Implementing healthy marriage programs for unmarried couples with children early lessons from the building strong families project. Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research.Google Scholar
  4. Wood, R. G., Moore, Q., Clarkwest, A., & Killewald, A. (2014). The long-term effects of building strong families: A program for unmarried parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(2), 446–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alliant International UniversityLos AngelesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA