Miller, K.S., Lasswell, S.M., Riley, D.B., et al. American Journal of Public Health (November 2013), Vol. 103 No. 11, pp. e16-e20.
This report discusses the Families Matter! Program (FMP), which is an evidence-based behavioral intervention that uses a five-session curriculum for parents and children aged 9-12. FMP seeks to delay sexual debut and decrease sexual risk behaviors through positive parent-child communication about HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy prevention. It is implemented in eight sub-Saharan African countries with support from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention through the U.S. President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief. The intervention was initially adapted in Kenya (2003-2004) from the US-based Parents Matter! program; an evaluation in 2006 showed high acceptability and effectiveness, with an average of 90 percent of participants attending all sessions. FMP is currently being adapted to create a program for preventing sexual abuse against children, which will be tested in 2013. Several longitudinal studies on FMP are planned in 2013 and 2014, and the program may be adapted for older adolescents aged 13-18. The program’s five-step capacity building model supports FMP users to determine a community's need, engage local stakeholders to ensure cultural relevancy, ensure understanding and correct delivery by implementers; continuously monitor participants' attendance and satisfaction, and respond flexibly to the context while maintaining the vision of the intervention. It has been used by local governments and partners with high intervention fidelity and participant retention. The FMP may be useful in similar resource-constrained contexts.