Concrete supports are a protective factor that can buffer and support children and families during good times and bad. Concrete supports mean having access to goods and services that address your family’s needs, such as support for food, housing, clothing, health care, and child care. This support is especially essential during times of heightened stress or adversity. A child welfare system that acknowledges and addresses family supports through a strengths-based approach will be more effective at promoting child and family well-being.
If you would like to learn more about concrete supports and their impact on child and family well-being, use the following resources, which include State and local examples.
Concrete Support in Times of Need: Protective & Promotive Factors (PDF - 50 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2018)
Discusses the importance of helping parents identify, find, and receive concrete support to ensure their families will thrive. This strengths-based approach helps parents feel valued because they are acknowledged as knowledgeable and competent.
How Concrete and Economic Supports Can Improve Child and Family Well-Being
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2021)
Children's Bureau Express, 22(9)
Explores how concrete and economic supports provided to families can help address child maltreatment, particularly neglect.
Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare
System Transformation to Support Child & Family Well-Being: The Central Role of Economic & Concrete Supports (PDF – 6,396 KB)
Weiner, Anderson, & Thomas (2021)
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Highlights strategies in four areas for addressing maltreatment risk and well-being with economic and concrete supports for families.
State and local examples
Protective Factor #3: Concrete Support in Times of Need
Door County Partnership for Children and Families
Summarizes the importance of concrete support in times of need and provides action ideas for families, such as questions to ask yourself, a list of things to look for, and suggested activities to do.
Protective Factors: Concreate Support During Times of Need
Idaho Youth Ranch (2020)
Explains how ensuring children have their basic needs met along with social and emotional support from their family will help them build resilience and thrive during times of need.
Protective Factors: Concreate Support in Good Times and in Bad
Exchange Family Center (2018)
Describes how when parents receive concrete support in times of need, they are not overburdened and have more time and energy to devote to their children and family's well-being.
Strengthening Families Protective Factors
Missouri Children’s Trust Fund (2021)
Provides information on the Strengthening Families framework along with the five protective factors, which include concrete support in times of need. The webpage then highlights steps the State of Missouri is taking to implement the framework and improve the well-being of families.
What Is Concrete Support?
Champions for Children
Defines concrete support and discusses how building family strengths can help parents overcome stress and challenges that can lead to cases of child abuse and neglect.