Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities, 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
Building Healthy Communities to Promote Child and Family Well-Being
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center
Explores the intersection between poverty and neglect, including at the societal, community, familial, and individual levels. The presenters of this digital dialogue emphasize what needs to be changed to prevent neglect, describe the importance of effective messaging to garner support, and outline what makes a good elevator speech.
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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Parent Groups Translate the Protective Factors
National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds, Alliance National Parent Partnership Council (2019)
Discusses how parent groups have translated the protective factors into their own language and provides examples of materials being used across the country to describe and help parents remember the protective factors.
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.
National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments
Explains what protective factors are and how some are offered and strengthened in schools. There are also links to online resources, websites, additional guidance, and a video. The featured resources suggest actions school employees can take, provide an overview of student resilience research, and more.
Protective Factors: Action Sheets
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2018)
Offers fact sheets that describe each of the five protective factors and best practices for caseworkers on how to implement each one in their work.
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.
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.
The X-Y Factor: Engaging Dads Using the Protective Factors
Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (2018)
Explains methods for supporting practitioners in engaging with fathers and encouraging them to build the five protective factors of Strengthening Families Framework.
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.