The UVU Strengthening Families Program was founded by Dr. Grant Richards in 2008 comprised of curriculum that is nationally and internationally recognized. The program has been found to improve parenting skills and family relationships, reduce problem behaviors such as delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse in children, and improve social competencies and school performance. UVU faculty train and supervise interns in the field, directly benefiting families in our community.

Our Story

The program educates participants through individual classes for parents, teens, and children. UVU students are trained as facilitators and then use the research-based curriculum materials from the Strengthening Families foundation to help families improve relationships and learn life skills. These classes are followed by family classes that allow participants to learn additional information and, as a family, practice the skills learned in the individual classes.


The Strengthening Families Program is a ten-week program sponsored by Utah Valley University in association with the Alpine School District, Brigham Young University, and other community partners. It is conducted four nights a week, in both English and Spanish, at 6-7 sites, for families from all walks of life. These sites represent six Alpine School District Clusters of Mountain View High, Lehi High, Orem High, Pleasant Grove High, Westlake High, and Timpanogas High. Families are invited to participate in the program based on recommendations from teachers, school counselors, and school administrators or by indicating their interest in the program from advertisements at Back to School Night, Parent/Teacher conferences, or other events. Any family can participate and benefit from participation in the program.


Research has shown the importance of eating meals together and dinner is included as a part of the program. Delicious dinners are commercially prepared and are planned under a well-balanced, healthy family eating habits. Meals are supervised by interns from UVU's Public and Community Health department who educate families about nutritional content and health family eating habits.


The program has grown to address a larger need identified within our community. The Stronger Family Project now encompasses not only the 10-week Strengthening Families program classes, but also free workshops for the community, and therapy at no charge. Our community partners are increasing in number as well as partnerships across the university to leverage specialists in meeting family needs. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing to this  pivotal project that has helped many families build and strengthen relationships.

Community Impact

The vision of the UVU Stronger Families Project is for UVU to reach out to the local community to improve the lives of families. We chose the family as the unit to have the greatest impact. Not only can we create change across the community, but also influence future generations at the same time. Families who have participated in our program report:

"Our family went through a really traumatizing year last year and we were needing somthing to help us refocus and reunify. This program has been perfect for that. It has helped us work through some of the difficulty of last year, and we are such a stronger family now. This program has been such a blessing."

-Clair Reed Steininger Hamaker

"I love this program! It had taught my family so many great ways to communicate, and my kids use the strategies to work through their conflicts - miracle!! Thank you for this program."

Brittani King Oliver

"I'm so thankful for all the classes, for the people that show their love and support, for their time, for pausing their lives to help us have a better life. I really feel the love they have for us. Best program ever!"

-Dalia Aguilar