Sophia Center is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania and is a member of Sylvania Franciscan Ministries

Building and Restoring Respectful Family Relationships

Special programs and services for Sylvania area parents and youth

Brought to you by the Sophia Center, in partnership with Sylvania Area Family Services and grant funded by Catholic Health Initiatives.

Preventing Youth Violence in the Home

Our multi-tiered system of supports is designed to reduce youth violence and abuse in the home. This prevention program includes positive parenting workshops, multi-family groups and incentives to help families develop strategies for building and restoring respectful relationships. Individualized clinical services are also available.

Our program features Step-Up, a research-based curriculum used nationally and internationally for decades, and Positive Solution for Families (PSF), a research-supported parenting series.

Protecting Youth and Families

Recent data provided by Lucas County, Ohio, Juvenile Court that 42% of misdemeanor arrests of youth from our 4 targeted zip codes are for domestic violence or unruly behavior in the home.

Over a five-year period, fifteen percent of juvenile arrests occurred when the youth was under 13 years old at the time of the incident. In 2020 over half of all charges against juveniles were against youth 15 years or younger. The role of early intervention/prevention cannot be overstated. Adolescent violence and abuse toward parents and other family members pose a considerable threat to the stability of families, the overall development of teens, and is a strain on the juvenile justice system.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Parents report walking on eggshells to keep the peace
  • Use of abusive or threatening language by youth toward parents
  • Youth refuses to follow rules and resorts to abuse to get their way
  • Pushing, hitting, kicking of family members by teen
  • Throwing objects, damaging property to control parents
  • Parents are fearful of teen
  • Running away

Three-tier Approach

Each situation is different. We provide many ways for families to access support or learn new strategies. Program opportunities range from education and awareness to wrap around individualized support.

Tier 1: Solutions for Families

Positive Solutions for Families Workshop Series

Positive Solutions for Families (PSF) is a six-session, evidence-based, parenting series for families (and providers working with families) to help promote their children’s social and emotional skills. It will help parents of young children understand problem behaviors and learn positive approaches to help build relationships and teach and support appropriate behavior. PSF groups are currently provided several times a year in partnership with Sylvania Area Family Services and are available to other community groups as requested.

Tier 2: Step-Up Family Groups

Step-Up Model Curriculum

The Step-Up curriculum is facilitated in a series of multi-family groups that address responding to abuse and promoting safety, restoring respectful relationships in the family, setting boundaries and regaining parental leadership.

Family safety is the top priority of the intervention with development of a safety plan and weekly check-ins to set goals and monitor the youth’s progress.

To learn more about Step-Up, click here.

Tier 3: Access to Counseling

Individualized Services at the Sophia Counseling Center

Families experiencing these issues also have access to licensed mental health providers for counseling at the Sophia Center as needed. Grant funds may be used to offset insurance related barriers such as deductibles and co-pays.

For more information about the STEP-UP program, contact
Polly Gerken,

To refer someone to the program:
Step-Up Referral Form