Islamic Republic of Iran


Regional Workshop: Strengthening Neighbouring Countries' Cooperation on the Advancement of Children's Wellbeing.


stories/11sep2014-addiction-cong/11sep2014addiction-cong1.jpg Regional Workshop on Introducing Strengthening Families Programme (SFP)

On 24-26 August 2015, the 'Regional Workshop on Introducing Strengthening Families Programme (SFP) for Parents and Youth' was held in Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran). The event, jointly organised by the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was made possible through kind financial support of the Government of Japan. Delegates from the 8 countries of the Regional Programme took part in the event, along with representatives from the embassies of Afghanistan, Austria, Finland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Sweden, and Tajikistan in Tehran.

The Strengthening Families Programme for Parents and Youth (10-14 years), also known as SFP 10-14, is a prevention programme that seeks to increase children's resilience against various risk factors, particularly stress and peer pressure, that are major determinants for the initiation of drug use. The programme brings parents, children, and the wider community together through group activities that improve caregivers' nurturing skills. Mr. Lindsey Coombes, lead consultant on the SFP 10-14 from Oxford Brookes University, further elaborated upon the evidence-base of the SP 10-14 through a review of several studies highlighting its effectiveness. Central and South American countries such as Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil have already piloted SFP 10-14 through the support of the UNODC.

Results from previously run prevention programmes in the regional countries were presented during the workshop, including the Family and Schools Together (FAST) programme in Iran and Uzbekistan. FAST is recognized as one of the best evidence-based family skills programmes for promoting child well-being. Worldwide, it has been implemented in over 2,500 schools in 14 countries. The importance of family-based approaches was emphasized by Mr. Wadih Maalouf, Programme Coordinator at UNODC Division of Operations, Drug Prevention and Health Branch Prevention in Vienna, "Parenting is prevention, and supporting parents in being better caregivers is effective because they want the best for their children. The family is the most important social institution to target for prevention". This was echoed by Dr. Nadeem Rehman, Programme Coordinator for Sub-Programme 3 of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, who facilitated discussions and country working groups in pursuit of tailoring the SFP 10-14 to engage the whole family, through cultural and contextual adaptation relevant for the respective countries.

At the end of the workshop, the country representatives committed to piloting the SFP 10-14 and to continue pursuing drug use prevention programmes. The chief guests from the DCHQ at the inaugural and closing ceremonies, Dr. Parviz Afshar, Deputy of Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) Department, and Dr. Aref Vahabzadeh, Director General of Prevention and Cultural Affairs, continuously stressed the need for high standards drug prevention programmes, regional cooperation, and family skills programmes to successfully prevent drug use among adolescents.


icon-doc Further information at:


Drug Prevention, Treatment and HIV/AIDS