Friendships and Dating

The Program

The Friendships & Dating Program teaches teens and adults, 16 years old and older, with intellectual and related developmental disabilities, and youth with serious emotional disturbance (SED) how to develop and maintain healthy relationships and prevent interpersonal violence. Friendships & Dating is a train-the-trainer program; community agency personnel facilitate the program to groups of teens and adults  in agency and community settings. Friendships & Dating is a 10-week long program made up of 20 sessions. Sessions are held twice a week and last approximately 1.5 hours each. The first session of each week focuses on participants learning new skills. The second session centers on applying these new skills in a community setting. Over the 10-weeks participants learn about:

  • feelings and emotions
  • types of relationships
  • personal boundaries
  • communication
  • meeting people
  • first impressions
  • planning social activities
  • the dating process
  • personal safety
  • healthy relationships
  • sexual health
  • differences in relationships
  • conflict resolution
  • maintaining relationships
FDP participant outcomes on social network size. Participants’ social network size significantly increased from an average of: 5.4 people at baseline, 7.0 people at the end if the program, and ten weeks later, social network size remained elevated at 6.7 people.
FDP outcomes on interpersonal violence graph shows the average number of incidents of interpersonal violence significantly decreased over the program from: 3.4 at baseline,  1.5 at the end of the program, and  0.7 ten weeks after the program ended.​

Facilitator Training

UAA Center for Human Development trains staff working in community agencies across Alaska to implement the Friendships & Dating Program. Staff attend a 2-day facilitator workshop in person or using distance technology to learn how to deliver program content. Once trained, facilitators return to their home community, and commit to recruiting a group of 6-10 coed participants, and delivering the Friendships & Dating Program.

Facilitators receive The Friendships & Dating Manual with detailed materials organized to easily conduct sessions. The manual delineates learning and behavioral objectives, materials needed, session activities, scripts for teaching each concept and skill, and experiential community activities. Facilitators receive a CD with all session materials and additional resources such as DVDs, slides, posters, and games. 

Request Facilitator Training

Live outside of Alaska? Information on how to implement Friendships & Dating in your area. 

Find a Facilitator

If you are interested in participating in the Friendships & Dating Program contact your local provider to inquire if they have trained facilitators. If they don’t, tell them about the program and how they can get involved.

The Center for Human Development has been training agencies across Alaska since 2009. Below is a list of agencies that have been trained to use the Friendships & Dating Program: