Five Protective Factors
The Five Protective Factors lie at the center of the Strengthening Families Approach developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The Strengthening Families Approach aims to increase families’ strengths and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect by promoting the development of the Five Protective Factors. These include:
There is strong evidence that that when families demonstrate competence in these five areas, the chances of child abuse and neglect decrease and the likelihood of developing a healthy and supportive environment for optimal child development emerges. Most of the gaps in ability between advantaged and disadvantaged children at age 12 are present as early as age 6, indicating that the earlier we are able to intervene in a child’s life the better the outcome will be. Early interventions are more effective in leveling the playing field among disadvantaged children than are later interventions, such as investments in after school programs or remedial education.
At CHS, we use the Strengthening Families Approach to build the Five Protective Factors amongst the families we serve. We believe that all families are unique and possess inherent strengths; our programs and services are designed to tap into those strengths. For example, through our Resource and Referral program, CHS helps link families to vital resources and opportunities to facilitate growth. In our Child Care Payment Programs, we recognize and support parents as the primary decision-makers when it comes to choosing a child care provider for their children. We offer referrals for potential child care providers and programs, but allow the parent to make the final decision in what is best for their child and family. CHS also provides fun activities and ideas for parents and child care providers to implement with their children to promote healthy development. Our Family Education Program offers free educational brochures and workshops to help parents learn how to support and foster their children’s development and to strengthen their skills and confidence as parents.
For more information on the Strengthening Families Approach and the Five Protective Factors, please visit: www.cssp.org/reform/strengtheningfamilies/about