SAAF is a seven-session, family-centered program designed to enhance the well-being of African-American families. It strives to increase pride in families and to help caregivers build nurturing skills that support their youth as well as strengthen skills for disciplining and guiding them as they grow into young adults. The program teaches children coping skills for dealing with temptation and peer pressure and promotes self-pride in an ever-changing world. “SAAF offers a message of hope, belonging, empowerment and encouragement to all of the families participating,” said Leslie Stinson, coordinator for in-home intervention and case management services.
When asked to describe what the program provides in one word, Stinson said, “Unity.” She added, “The program encourages these families to embrace community, to support each other and to work together to reach their goals.”
Unity is shown throughout the program and spoken of within the family creed used in every session. It states, “African-American families care about each other and have fun working together. We are making a difference in this world.”
AltaPointe had seven patients with their caregivers participate in the first cycle of SAAF. The families were enthusiastic about the program, and most remained consistent with participation. In a survey, one patient stated, “I learned that I could actually reach the goals I have set; it’s something I never thought would be possible before starting this program.”
Stinson said AltaPointe is looking forward to facilitating the next cycle of the SAAF Program and is excited about the positive changes the program will bring throughout the organization and surrounding community.
AltaPointe Health held its first cycle of the Strong African-American Families program in March 2018. Nine AltaPointe staff members have been trained and certified to facilitate the program. The grant also provided AltaPointe with program materials to ensure success as a certified SAAF site.