What we do

Families Matter! Program

The Families Matter! Program seeks to promote positive parenting and effective parent-child communication on sexuality and sexual risk-reduction. It recognises that many parents may need support in order for them to assist their children deal with their sexuality and make choices that protect them from HIV infection, abusive relationships, and unwanted pregnancy.

The programme was developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is delivered by a range of organisations in eight African countries. SFH began to offer this programme in the Mangaung District of the Free Stateand Enlanzeni District in Mpumalanga in 2013. In the first two years alone some 1 400 parents and caregivers completed the curriculum.

Families Matter! Program follows the same process and curriculum no matter where it is offered. The sessions are facilitated by a team of two certified facilitators, one male and one female. The complete programme comprises five weekly sessions of about three hours each.

It is aimed at parents and caregivers of children aged nine to 12 years and take them systematically through parenting skills:

  • How to educate their children about sexuality.
  • How to deal with their discomfort when discussing sex with their children.
  • Recognising the pressures children face in relation to sex.
  • Understanding sexual abuse of children.
  • HIV-related subjects from disclosure of HIV status, to gender issues and behaviours that reduce HIV risk.

The sessions are designed to get parents thinking, to equip them with important information, and to enable them to learn by discussion.