Ideas Into Action

The Basics

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 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. States apply the Strengthening Families approach in early childhood, child welfare, child abuse prevention and other child and family serving systems.

CSSP continues to build knowledge, research and evidence to expand the use of the protective factors approach across the country.  The organization currently serves as a convener of learning opportunities for national and state organizations and as an information hub, it also helps peers in the child welfare and other fields learn how to implement the Strengthening Families approach.

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