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Mother hugging her daughter during a Planned Parenthood LiFT workshop.


Linking Families and Teens

Linking Families & Teens

LiFT is a 6-hour program that brings teens between 13-19 and their supportive adults together to learn how to share family values, strengthen bonds, and talk about the tough stuff–things like sexual health and healthy relationships. LiFT is available in English and Spanish.  

  • Encourage your teen to open up to you.
  • Support your teen to achieve their goals.
  • Help your teen make healthy choices.
  • Connect with other parenting adults in your community. 
LiFT logo - Linking Families and Teens

Find Your Superpower

Find Your Superpower

Research shows that a strong parent-child relationship is a superpower that helps teens achieve their goals, decreases rates of unwanted teen pregnancy, STDs, depression, and drug and alcohol use. Teens with a strong connection to a parent are more likely to experience increased school success.

Parents and teens alike state that they feel uncomfortable and and ill-equipped to have conversations with one another about difficult topics, and this makes building strong connections very challenging.

What We've Heard

Expect to have better conversations. Improvements in communication is by far the most common theme of LiFT stories. LiFT helps family members talk more often and about tough topics including sexuality and relationships. By the end of the workshop you'll feel more comfortable and confident having these conversations and the skills you learn in LiFT will help you have more effective communication in an open and non-judgmental way.

"I've talked with my parent way more than I ever had & I felt closer to him for being there."
- Teen 



Expect to come together as a family. In addition to a general increase in closeness, past participants have told us they experience increased trust, openness, empathy or understanding, and a sense of support.

"My son has more trust in me now and in our relationship. He comes to me with questions about his relationship with his girlfriend now, and before LiFT he never really wanted to open up to me about his relationships."
- Parenting Adult. 


Expect to have fun! Nearly every teen and parent has told us that they had fun during the workshop and would recommend LiFT to others.

"I had a lot of fun participating and it was truly an amazing experience. Every single family with a teenager should take this workshop. Every family needs it."
- Parenting Adult

Do I have to be the teen's parent to participate? 

No. Teens can come with any supportive adults in their life.  This means that you can be a grandparent, foster parent, close family friend, auntie or uncle, or any other important adult in the life of your young person.

How many families can participate in a LiFT workshop?

The ideal group size for a LiFT workshop is around 10 families (each family including one or more youth plus one or more supportive adults). However, we've led groups with up to 20 families and with as few as three families.

How much does it cost to participate in LiFT?

Nothing. There is no cost to participate in LiFT.

What about my younger kids?

LiFT was created to be age-appropriate for kids between 13-19 years old.  Reach out to [email protected] for more information about family programs for kids younger than 13.

What happens during the program? 

You will be together with your family member for part of the program doing fun activities and getting to spend time together.  For other parts of the program, adults and youth meet in separate spaces to learn from each other and practice new skills to build their connection.

  • Adults talk about teen brain development, how to strengthen the connection they already have with their teen, and how to be askable and approachable so their young people open up to them about tough topics.
  • Teens talk about the importance of open up to their adults, strategies to have tough talks, and how to access health care services.
Will I have to talk with my teen about sexuality during the program?

No. LiFT helps you and your teen feel more comfortable to have tough talks in the future. 

How do I know LiFT works?

In qualitative data collected at the booster call, three- and 12- months following the program, youth and parenting adult participants say they are having more tough talks, and credit LiFT with building their confidence and skills to have conversations around sexuality and relationships; helping to increase trust between family members, and to be more open and empathetic with one another.
We are currently conducting a randomized control trial to further understand the impact has on youth and adult outcomes.  We anticipate having results in mid-2020.

How can I bring LiFT to my community?

We're always looking for new partners! Contact [email protected] for more information.

Do you have any resources for sexuality educators? 

We do! We've been training and supporting sex educators for years! Contact [email protected] if you're looking for something specific. We'll try our best to help. And check out these two free resources on Navigating Participant Disclosures and Recruiting Supportive Adults and Families into sex ed programs.