Protective Factors Framework
A framework for prevention focuses not only on identifying protective factors but also on better understanding how protective factors may contribute to or explain positive outcomes for children, families, and communities. The following resources offer examples of a protective factors framework around child welfare systems as well as other frameworks from fields, such as mental health and human development, that may offer insights and contribute to the development of a framework that can be used across programs and disciplines.
Protective Factors for In-Risk Populations Served by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families (2013)
Explores the literature on protective factors focusing on five population groups of primary concern: infants, children, and adolescents who are victims of child abuse and neglect; runaway and homeless youth; youth in or transitioning out of foster care; children and youth exposed to domestic violence; and pregnant and parenting teens. The study provides key findings that indicate that additional research is necessary to further understand the way in which protective factors promoting well-being in young people at the individual, relationship, and community levels.
Protective Factors Literature Review: Early Care and Education Programs and the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF - 478 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2008)
Reviews the five protective factors, their potential for reducing rates of child maltreatment, and how early care and education programs can incorporate them into their operations.
Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities
O'Connell, Boat, & Warner (Eds.) (2009)
Defines types of prevention, outlines perspectives on developmental pathways that may lead to disorder, and reviews preventive interventions aimed at individual, family, and community-level factors.
CE13-1303 - Implementation of Essentials for Childhood: Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013)
Identifies State Health Departments funded to coordinate and manage existing and new partnerships with other child maltreatment prevention organizations and nontraditional partners to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children.
Communities That Care Prevention Strategies Guide (PDF â€“ 7,896 KB)
Communities That Care (2010)
Includes descriptions of 56 tested and, according to available studies, effective programs, policies and practices to help communities meet their unique prevention needs and fulfill funding requirements.
Early Education Partnerships to Expand Protective Factors for Children With Child Welfare Involvement Discretionary Grant Cluster
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Discusses projects funded to build infrastructure capacity to support collaborative initiatives between child welfare and early childhood systems to maximize enrollment, attendance, and supports of infants and young children who are in foster care into comprehensive, high-quality early care and education programs.
Five Ways to Well-Being
New Economics Foundation (2008)
Illustrates how government action can be directed toward improving well-being. The report describes five activities to enhance well-being and policy interventions to enact them.
Infusing Protective Factors for Children in Foster Care
Griffin, McEwen, Samuels, Suggs, Redd & McClelland
Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 34(1), 2011
Reviews research on the relationship between risk behaviors and protective factors of traumatized youth, looks at adapting treatment and evidence-based early intervention practices to local child welfare settings, and presents a review of how State and local plans have been influenced by Federal policies. The article includes a case study from Illinois.
A Life Course Approach Resource Guide
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health
Identifies how the interplay of risk and protective factors such as socioeconomic status, toxic environmental exposures, health behaviors, stress, and nutrition, influence health throughout a lifetime. This website provides webinars, policy briefs, factsheets, lectures, toolkits, and more to foster partnerships to improve individuals' and families' health and well-being.
The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress
Shonkoff & Garner
Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care, & Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Pediatrics, 129(1), 2011
Presents an eco-biodevelopmental framework that illustrates how early experiences and environmental influences can affect emerging brain architecture and long-term health. The report also examines effects of toxic stress and links early adversity to later impairments in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental well-being. Also see the American Academy of Pediatrics' related policy statement (PDF - 536 KB).
Part 3: Revised Draft UNICEF/LAC Core Indicators for MICS4 (And Beyond) With Rationale and Sample Module (PDF - 359 KB)
UNICEF Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office (2009)
Outlines a comprehensive, ecological justification for defining adolescent well-being and a set of domains for measurement that represent expected outcomes/impacts under that definition.
Preventing Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Against Women: Taking Action and Generating Evidence
World Health Organization (2010)
Provides a framework for analyzing risk and protective factors of intimate partner and sexual violence as well as for developing programs and policies for prevention. The guide also emphasizes the importance of scientific evaluation with a focus on the evidence base of primary prevention.
Progress Toward a Prevention Perspective
Stagner & Lansing
Future of Children, 19(2), 2009
Proposes investment-prevention as a new framework for preventing child abuse and neglect that focuses on strengthening protective factors and building family and social networks to reinforce the ability of parents to care for their children.
Promise Neighborhoods Research Consortium
Promise Neighborhoods Research Consortium (2010)
Identifies evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions that communities can adopt to improve well-being. The consortium also defines and helps communities implement measures of well-being and of risk and protective factors fundamental to understanding if prevention and treatment interventions are achieving desired outcomes.
Social Policy for Children and Families: A Risk and Resilience Perspective
Jenson & Fraser (2011, 2nd ed.)
Outlines a risk and resilience framework for developing effective public policies for children, youth, and families that is rooted in ecological theory. Practices and programs targeting known causes and correlates of child and adolescent problems are most likely to succeed in preventing problem behaviors and supporting children and families.
Strategic Direction for Child Maltreatment Prevention: Preventing Child Maltreatment Through the Promotion of Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships Between Children and Caregivers (PDF - 280 KB)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009)
Describes a strategy for child maltreatment prevention organized around four areas of public health research and practice: measuring impact, creating and evaluating new approaches to prevention, applying and adapting effective practices, and building community readiness.
Strengthening Families: California: State Initiative Profile (PDF - 202 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2012)
Highlights the activities and accomplishments of the Strengthening Families initiative in California between 2007â€“2010, including implementation and strategies to support the initiative and following the key aspects of the State's work.
Strengthening Families: Rhode Island: State Initiative Profile (PDF â€“ 226 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2011)
Features the activities and accomplishments of the Strengthening Families initiative in Rhode Island as one of the original pilot States in 2005 and describes strategies used to support Strengthening Families efforts and key aspects of the State's work; evaluation and statistics are included.