A framework for prevention focuses not only on identifying protective factors but also on better understanding how those 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. They also provide examples of other frameworks from related fields, such as mental health and human development, which may aid in the development of a framework that can be used across programs and disciplines.
- Protective factors framework in child welfare systems
- Protective factors framework in related fields
About Strengthening Families and the Protective Factors Framework (PDF - 603 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2017)
Provides an overview of the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, a research-informed approach to increase family strengths and promote child development while reducing the likelihood of child maltreatment.
Protective Factors and Protective Capacities: Common Ground for Protecting Children and Strengthening Families [Infographic] (PDF - 233 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2016)
Describes the protective capacities framework and the protective factors framework, both of which are used by child welfare practitioners to assess, intervene, and serve families as well as explores the common ground the frameworks share to help strengthen consistency in services for families.
Promoting Protective Factors Series
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Presents topic-specific information briefs to support child welfare practitioners in centering child and youth well-being and utilizing existing individual, family, and community-level protective factors.
- Promoting Protective Factors for Children and Youth in Foster Care: A Guide for Practitioners
- Promoting Protective Factors for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Guide for Practitioners
- Promoting Protective Factors for In-Risk Families and Youth: A Guide for Practitioners
- Promoting Protective Factors for Pregnant and Parenting Teens: A Guide for Practitioners
- Promoting Protective Factors for Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect: A Guide for Practitioners
Children’s Trust Fund Alliance
Explains the value of identifying strengths and incorporating them into comprehensive systems of support for children, youth, and families by defining each protective factor and online trainings.
Protective Factors Framework
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2021)
Provides resources explaining the protective factors framework, including action sheets that detail how to implement each factor.
Protective Factors Surveys
FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2021)
Helps child welfare agencies to assess families’ protective factors and changes over time. This resource is also available in Spanish (PDF - 315 KB).
National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (2021)
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.
Risk and Protective Factors (PDF - 146 KB)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (2019)
Outlines factors that place individuals at risk for substance use disorders, as well as factors that may reduce these risks.
Risk and Protective Factors
Outlines developmentally specific protective factors that promote positive mental health and well-being among youth, as well as risk factors that may negatively affect youth mental health.