Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the Strengthening Families approach is a research-based, cost-effective strategy to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce child abuse and neglect. It focuses on building five Protective Factors that also promote healthy outcomes. Those five protective factors are parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need and social and emotional competence of children.
- Parental resilience-Resilience is the ability to manage and bounce back from all types of challenges that emerge in every family’s life. It means finding ways to solve problems, building and sustaining trusting relationships including relationships with your own child, and knowing how to seek help when necessary.
- Social connections-Friends, family members, neighbors and community members provide emotional support, help solve problems, offer parenting advice and give concrete assistance to parents.
- Knowledge of parenting and child development-Accurate information about child development and appropriate expectations for children’s behavior at every age help parents see their children and youth in a positive light and promote their healthy development.
- Concrete support in times of need-Meeting basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care is essential for families to thrive. Likewise, when families encounter a crisis such as domestic violence, mental illness or substance abuse, adequate services and supports need to be in place to provide stability, treatment and help for family members to get through the crisis.
- Social and emotional competence of children-A child or youth’s ability to interact positively with others, self-regulate their behavior and effectively communicate their feelings has a positive impact on their relationships with their family, other adults, and peers.
Information compiled from The Center for the Study of Social Policy.
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