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The following quotes are from questionnaires filled out at the end of the program and from letters parents and teens wrote to the King County Council in 2009 when the program had been cut from the budget. Thanks to the many letters and testimonies at public hearings, the Council put Step-Up back in the 2010 budget.

The Step-Up program is designed to help parents and teenagers address their own emotions, and then it inspires you to translate your discoveries and growth into walking hand in hand with your teenager.

Mother who attended Step-Up in 2009



….everyone else in the group sees other people in the raw. It makes us look at ourselves and realize that we too are here because of this kind of behavior.”

17 year old teen who attended Step-Up in 2008

“Step-Up has helped me cope with anger and violence problems with my teenage daughter and son and with the feelings of helplessness and depression that family violence cause. I was able to meet each of these challenges with a problem-solving approach, an approach that focused on the control I had of my own behavior. The tools and support that made this problem-solving approach available were provided by Step-Up.”
Mother who attended Step-Up with her daughter and son in 2001

“The Step-Up program gave my son and I a language for what was happening in the home and allowed for an open and frank conversation about it”
Mother who attended with her son in 2002

“I feel like I have grown out of the troubled, lost person that I used to be due to the help of this program. Before entering Step-Up I was always getting into arguments and fights with my mom. Now we talk things out and we like each other more.”
14 year old girl who attended Step-Up with her mother in 2008

“This program is changing people’s lives. Making kids more respectful and less abusing. It helps us come to grasp with ourselves and realize we don’t have to act out the way we do.”
16 year old boy who attended Step-Up in 2009

“For teens who are using abuse as a way to deal with difficulties, Step-Up provides something that other counseling cannot. Step-Up provides peer support, peer review, peer judgment. The peer interaction is a very powerful tool that Step-Up uses to get abusive teenagers to entertain viewpoints that they might otherwise dismiss.”
Father who attended Step-Up in 2009

“After just starting the program I’m remembering what my new friends in the group have said about themselves and realize that I can turn around. I’ve been thinking more before acting. This is truly an amazing place to go to and I feel free there.”
15 year old boy who attended Step-Up in 2009

“After six years of frustration with therapy, medications, violence and abusive behavior in our home, the real progress for our son was through Step-Up. We watched him transform from an angry, violent, out-of-control, verbally abusive teen to a less angry, more behaviorally responsible person who apologizes (!) and maintains his composure much more effectively. Our family has begun to heal and function well, thanks to Step-Up.”
Mother and Father who attended Step-Up with their son in 2006

“The Step-Up program has been a haven in the storm, for both my teenager and me.”
Mother who attended Step-Up in 2009