Credential for Strengths-based Family Workers (SFW) is a professional training and credentialing program that is comprised of a competency-based curriculum. It is unique in its focus on the development and documentation of knowledge and skill through the portfolio.  Workers who complete the program are better able to facilitate a family’s ability to set and reach their own goals. While nationally standardized, the training is tailored to meet the needs of local communities.


To earn the Credential for Strengths-based Family Worker, each participant must successfully:

  • Complete a minimum of 80 hours of interactive classroom instruction

  • Demonstrate the 6 Core Competencies which help define the qualities of a strengths-based family worker

  • Complete a skills portfolio and participate in a minimum of 10 hours of individual sessions with a learning coach.

  • Pass a National SFW credentialing exam


Features of SFW:

  • Workers learn skills related to effective family engagement,effective communication, problem solving, action planning, cultural humility, critical thinking, reflection and evaluating performance

  • Incorporates a variety of evidenced based training methodologies by trained community based family development instructors

  • Skills are shared with those they help, supporting the development of skills in help seekers

  • Includes portfolio coaching by a trained Learning Coach

  • Allows for demonstration of core family worker skills

  • Assessment exam evaluates achievement of learning objectives

  • Credential issued by Temple University

  • Opportunity to earn 7 college credits, CEU’s and Act 48 Hours

  • Instructor and Learning Coach Trainings may be evaluated for approval of continuing education hours nationally

The 6 Core Competencies of SFW

  • Demonstrates professionalism and commitment to ethical practice

  • Recognizes strength in diversity and difference; demonstrate sensitivity in practice

  • Understands and utilizes the power of clear, non-judgmental communication

  • Demonstrates self-care and lifelong learning

  • Applies strengths-based principles to practice with families

  • Applies strengths-based principles to agency and community systems


SFW Module Overview

The SFW Curriculum covers 14 modules of current, relevant and challenging topics that prove invaluable to strength based family workers.

Module 1: Overview/Orientation

Course Requirements, Competencies & Guiding Principles, Learning Styles, Critical Reflection 


Module 2: Strengths-based Family Development and the Help Giving Cycle

Strengths-based Approach, Effective Help Giving Cycle  


Module 3: Communication Skills For Strengths-based Family Workers

Empathy, Beginning a Helping Relationship, Non-verbal Communication


Module 4: A Broad Definition of Culture

What is Culture, Identify Your Own Culture, Organizational Culture


Module 5: Strengths-based Assessment and Measuring Progress

Powerful Questioning, Gathering Information, Scales and Other Assessments


Module 6: Developing Plans With Families

Family Goal Plan 


Module 7: The Impact of Bias

Identify Your Own Bias and Those of Customers,


Module 8: The Importance of Self Care

Stress Reduction, Support Systems


Module 9: Communication in Special Situations

Cross Cultural Relationships, Home Visiting, Hot Topics, Problem Solving   


Module 10: Community Resources

Referrals And Follow-up, Special Services, Support Groups


Module 11: Inequity

Poverty, Disparity, Impact of Policies and Procedures, Culturally Competent Organizations


Module 12: Lifelong Learning

Ethics, Professional Behavior, Boundaries, Appropriate Sharing of Information


Module 13: Family Community & Agency Systems

Appropriate Level of Intervention, Advocacy 


Module14: Supporting & Strengthening Families through Transitions and Endings

Observation of Behaviors, Celebrating, How to Disengage from Relationships 


For more information regarding SFW, Contact:

Photo of Myka PiattMyka Piatt
SFW Program Manager
(717) 232-6400 x438