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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Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare
Find an overview of protective factors approaches to prevent child abuse and neglect and the concepts of protective and risk factors. In this brief, also discover ways to build protective capacities to help lower the risk of child abuse and neglect.
Culture Is Prevention
Focuses on the protective factors and strength Tribal communities find through their culture. Historical trauma, cultural protective factors, and evidence-based factors are covered in this webinar.
Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
Find information on the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing it for frontline caseworkers who directly engage families to promote safety, permanency, and well-being.
Protective Factors and the Science Behind Resilience
View a webinar that discusses the science behind resilience and provides an in-depth exploration of protective factors that support resilience for children, families, and Tribal communities.
The Indian Child Welfare Act: A Primer for Child Welfare Professionals
Read an overview of current and historical issues affecting child welfare practice with American Indian and Alaska Native families; practice implications, including the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and cultural considerations.
Two-Generation Approaches to Supporting Family Well-Being
Read about two-generation approaches and why child welfare agencies should use them to improve outcomes for families. Learn how to build parental capacity and protective factors within families, often with the goal of interrupting cycles of poverty.