Strengthening Families is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is based on engaging families, programs, and communities in building five key Protective Factors.
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children
Using the Strengthening Families framework, more than 30 states are shifting policy and practice to help programs working with children and families focus on protective factors.
Click on the topics below to find additional information, tools, and resources for understanding more about Strengthening Families and the Protective Factors Framework.
Strengthening Families Training & Professional Development
In partnership with several jurisdictions that are implementing Strengthening Families in their child welfare systems, CSSP has developed a scripted curriculum introducing the Protective Factors Framework and the small but significant changes workers can make in their child welfare practice. Some of the curriculum content will also be relevant for other audiences.
- Overview of the Scripted Curriculum
- MODULE 1: Introduction to Strengthening Families: A Protective Factors Framework
- MODULE 2: Understanding the Strengthening Families Protective Factors
- MODULE 3: Youth Thrive: A Protective Factors Approach for Older Youth
- MODULE 4: Trauma and Brain Development: A Protective Factors Approach
- MODULE 5: Making Small But Significant Changes in Child Welfare Practice
- MODULE 6: Taking a Community Approach to Strengthening Families
- MODULE 7: The Research Behind Strengthening Families
- MODULE 8: Tools to Support Strengthening Families Implementation
Strengthening Families Practice
At its heart, Strengthening Families is about changing how service providers interact with families to support them in building protective factors.
Strengthening Families is implemented through small but significant changes in daily practice, supported by shifts at the program level that allow workers to make those changes. A number of tools are available to support those shifts in practice. Click on the headings below to explore the resources and materials available to help you do this.
- Program Self-Assessments
- Aligning Practice with Strengthening Families
- Building Parent Partnerships
- Training/Professional Development
- Ensuring Accountability
Strengthening Families Systems
Strengthening Families has had its greatest impact by not only changing practice in programs, but by changing the systems that help to govern how programs operate, are held accountable and are resourced.
Across the country the Strengthening Families framework is being used within the key systems that govern programs for children and families. This section of the website provides tools and information to support Strengthening Families work within four key implementation sectors—early care and education, child abuse and neglect prevention, home visiting, and child welfare.
Strengthening Families Collaboration
Strengthening Families is used as a common framework for aligning practice and approaches across the systems that touch the lives of young children and their families.
Strengthening Families implementation is most effective when it takes place through cross-systems collaboration. This section of the website provides tools to support cross-sector leadership teams leading the Strengthening Families work across the country.
- Cross-Systems Implementation
- Tools for Strengthening Families Leadership Teams