Cultural practices and values promote family well-being and improve child welfare outcomes. Culture is an important element of each of the protective factors.

Strong ties with cultural, racial, and ethnic identities can build resilience and act as a buffer against the effects of trauma. Maintaining connections to culture reinforces social support networks. The passing down of traditional practices can strengthen parenting knowledge and confidence and enhance healthy parent-child attachment.

Tribal communities, Indigenous populations, and other people of color have been impacted by generations of family separation in the United States, disrupting cultural ties and connections. This has contributed to disproportionate involvement with the child welfare system and other systems. Child welfare professionals should work to understand historical trauma and encourage cultural connectedness among the families they serve. Kinship care helps maintain connections to family and culture and should be prioritized.

Protective factors may present differently in each culture or family. Child welfare professionals should aim to understand and honor the family’s culture when engaging with parents, building on parental strengths, and supporting families in creating a healthy environment for children.

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