Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate or eliminate risk, thereby increasing the health and well-being of children and families. Protective factors help parents to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress. Resources include State and local examples.
- The protective factors framework
- Nurturing and attachment
- Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Concrete supports for parents
- Social and emotional competence of children
- Protective factors toolkit
Community Conditions That Strengthen Families: Protective Factors Work at the Community Level
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2020)
Describes the findings from a study analyzing the essential components of community that facilitate the development of protective factors, including elements within the domains of meeting essential/basic needs, racial and social justice, social support and connection, and social contracts.
Essentials for Childhood: Creating Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Integrates protective factors and positive youth development frameworks to support States and communities in supporting children and youth.
Development Services Group, Inc.; Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Children’s Trust Fund Alliance
Provides free training modules to guide participants through understanding five key protective factors for strengthening children, youth, and families. This website also provides State-specific training resources.
Protective Factors Framework
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Provides resources to support professionals in integrating five protective factors into casework practice with families. There are also fact sheets to support caseworkers in implementing each of the five factors.
Protective Factors Podcast Series
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2017)
Explains the differences between protective and risk factors and methods for implementing strategies to promote protective factors at local levels.
Start With What's Going Right: Supporting Families With Protective Factors
Capacity Building Center for States (2020)
Children's Bureau Express, 21(3)
Explains how discussing protective factors when beginning to work with families instead of discussing risk factors can help reduce feelings of defensiveness, develop positive relationships and trust, and establish a positive foundation on which child welfare caseworkers can build on going forward.
Strengthening Families Protective Factors and Youth Thrive Workshops
Be Strong Families
Provides an overview of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework and YouthThrive Protective Factors Framework including how to keep children and families safe and strong, how to live with protective factors, how to reduce toxic stress, and how protective factors can help overcome challenges at work.
Strengthening Families Protective Factors
Children’s Trust Fund Missouri
Discusses local and State efforts to prioritize and institutionalize the protective factors framework into in Missouri child abuse prevention efforts.
Understanding the Five Protective Factors
Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (2018)
Provides an overview of key protective factors that are helpful in helping families becoming more resilient.
What Makes Your Family Strong? Meet the Protective Factors!
Great Start Collaborative
Presents a media campaign that consists of seven posters, a protective factors guide, and a new website in an effort to localize the messaging of the Strengthening Families Framework.