Protective Factors That Keep Families Strong
From 2002 to 2004, the Center for the Study of Social Policy conducted research on what works best to keep children safe and families strong. They published their findings as five Protective Factors and worked with states across the nation to embed them in early childhood education programs. Strengthening Families Illinois added the sixth Protective Factor, also drawn from research. They also “translated” the Protective Factors into everyday language with the help of Better World Advertising. Both versions are shown below. .
Protective Factors: Original Language
- Nurturing and attachment – Healthy parent and child relationships are when and where children receive the love and respect that they need each day.
- Knowledge of parenting and child development – Families need to know and understand that part of being a great parent is a natural instinct, but, part of it can be learned.
- Parental resilience – Families who are strong and flexible are better able to deal with the many stresses of everyday parenting and life.
- Social connections – All families need a network of trusted people; we all need good friends.
- Concrete supports – Families need to meet their own basic needs for food, clothing, housing, and transportation as well as know how and where to obtain services that include childcare, health care and mental health services.
- Social and emotional competence of children – Families teach skills that assist children in communicating their feelings, solving problems and interacting in a positive manner with other children and adults.
Protective Factors: Everyday Language
- Give Your Children the Love & Respect They Need
- Being a Great Parent Is Part Natural & Part Learned
- Be Strong & Flexible
- Parents Need Friends
- We All Need Help Sometimes
- Parents Need to Help Their Children Communicate