Friendships & Dating

The Program

The Friendships & Dating Program teaches teens and adults, 16 years old and older, with intellectual and related developmental disabilities 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 with intellectual and developmental disabilities 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
  • types of relationships
  • personal boundaries
  • communication
  • meeting people
  • first impressions
  • planning social activities
  • the dating process
  • personal safety
  • sexual health
  • gender differences
  • conflict resolution
  • maintaining relationships

To help reinforce learning in other settings, care providers are invited to attend an initial orientation and receive weekly guidance from facilitators.

Friendships & Dating

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 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.

*Travel funds are available for facilitators to attend the training.

Interested Participants

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:

Contact Friendships & Dating

Julie Atkinson

UAA Center for Human Development
2702 Gambell St. Suite 103
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Ph: (907) 272-8270
1 (800) 243-2199
TTY: (907) 264-6206
Fax: (907) 274-4802