Strong Families, Strong Forces - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Strong Families, Strong Forces

The Strong Families Strong Forces (SFSF) program is a FREE, 8-week program designed to help families navigate the stressors of deployments, Permanent Change of Station (PCS), Expiration – Term of Service (ETS), retirement and more.

The program aims to strengthen communication, connection and co-parenting skills. Designed for military families with children ages 0 to 17, SFSF is open to active-duty, reservist, national guard and veteran families.

Throughout the 8-week course, families will build on their strengths and resilience to prepare for challenges in the future. Classes schedules are flexible to meet the needs of busy military families and can be provided in groups, in-home or virtually.

Session 1: You and Your Child(ren)

Think of your family as a “system” or an intricate machine. Explore how each member’s individuality contributes to the smooth operation of your family “system.”
Activity: Craft a Family Collage

Session 2: Becoming a Military and Veteran Family | Your Military and Veteran Identity

Each member brings their individual personal identity to the table, contributing to the family identity. Families approach with curiosity to recognize how your individual identity, experiences, and values shape your family’s unique identity.
Activity: Create a Family Flag

Session 3: Your Partner’s Military Transition Experience

Everyone interprets information uniquely, leading to differing perspectives and emotional reactions to the same life event. As a team, reflect on a shared experience, work together to understand your partner’s viewpoint, and provide support, cultivating an understanding that facilitates effective communication about past, present, and future family experiences.
Activity: Event Timeline

Session 4 : Your Child(ren)’s Military Transition Experience

Just as parents do, children form their own perceptions, emotions, and insights from the same life event. Establish a safe environment for your child to express their thoughts and experiences of your significant life events. Feeling heard, understood, and supported lays a foundation for continued effective communication within the family.
Activity: Child’s Event Timeline

Session 5: Catching Up with Your Child(ren)

Some seasons of life can induce stress, disrupt routines, and diminish quality family time, making it difficult to connect or reconnect. Discover areas for growth and new milestones in your child’s development, while devising strategies to re-establish connections and create positive family memories.
Activity: Connection Flowerpot or Google Mapping

Session 6: Catching Up with Yourself and Your Partner

Healthy relationships require effort and aren’t always easy. Collaborate with your partner on a strategy or a plan to strengthen your bond, identify areas to grow and provide a solid foundation for your family. Practice caring for yourself, caring for your partner and caring for your children.
Activity: Date Night

Session 7: Parenting and Co-Parenting

Parenting can be challenging with no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Reflect on parenting styles and experiences from your own childhood and explore various parenting strategies. Collaborate with your partner to develop a co-parenting plan grounded in your collective experiences, shaping a shared vision for your family’s future.
Activity: Co-Parenting Plan

Session 8: Family Celebration | Looking Back, Moving Forward

No one knows better than service-member families that goodbyes can be hard. As the program comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate graduation day, cherish the time we spent getting to know each other and recognize the progress the family has made together.
Activity: Certificate of Completion

Meet the Team

For class dates and locations, email us at

Or call us at 210-352-7059 or 210-352-7052.

  • Amanda Beachum - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar CountyStrong Families, Strong Forces - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

    Amanda Beachum

    Program Manager, Strong Families Strong Forces
    Amanda is an Army spouse of 18 years and a mother of two. She holds her bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling. Whether supporting military families or engaging in community service, Amanda strives to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around her.
  • Janell Smith - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar CountyStrong Families, Strong Forces - United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

    Janell Smith

    Program Coordinator, Strong Families Strong Forces
    Janell is a retired Air Force of 20 years. As a dual military family, Janell and her husband of 19 years, navigated the challenges of military life together while raising two young men. Her experience has uniquely shaped her understanding of the sacrifices and resilience required in military families.


Learn about our work supporting service members, veterans and their families.