The Protective Factor Framework
The Strengthening Families Protective Factors
The foundation of our work at 90by30 is a focus on the positive. It’s the idea that, if parents have the resources, support, and tools they need to raise healthy, nurtured children, child abuse and neglect will be rare. We can all play a part in ensuring parents have what they need by promoting the five Strengthening Families Protective Factors identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
It’s not easy to be a parent, and knowing how to bounce back from tough times is key. Parental resilience is all about managing stress and functioning well when faced with challenges, adversity, and trauma.
Raising kids is easier when friends and family are supportive. Having a network of people to rely upon is essential. Strong relationships help parents feel confident, empowered, and able to reach out for help. These positive connections provide emotional, informational, and spiritual support.
Parents – and communities – who have information on parenting skills and child development know what to expect as children grow. They have strategies to solve parenting problems and respond to kids in a positive way. Understanding these things allows adults to support children’s physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development.
Concrete supports like housing, food, and medical care are the essentials that every parent and child needs to be successful. Knowing where to turn when these resources are scarce can help families through hard times. When a family’s needs are met, parents are better able to minimize stress caused by challenges.
When parents know how to help their kids manage their emotions and social interactions, kids are happier and healthier, and parents can respond positively and warmly to situations. Children develop the ability to communicate clearly, recognize and regulate their emotions, and establish and maintain relationships. And empathetic, caring kids grow into empathetic, caring adults.
To these five crucial ingredients for healthy, nurtured kids, 90by30 has added three broader, community-based protective factors that form the foundation of our countywide prevention strategy.
- All Lane County residents, groups, and organizations participate in making our communities child-friendly.
- Every person, organization, and group in Lane County actively plays their part to promote child well-being.
- All Lane County residents are educated about what children and youth need in order to thrive and prevent child abuse.
90by30 and the Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect have also contributed to research by the Center for the Study of Social Policy on community-level protective factors. Read more here.
How Our Strategies Support the Protective Factors
Each of the prevention strategies being implemented in our regions addresses one or more Protective Factors.
For example, the Welcome Baby Bundle provides concrete supports like diapers, onesies, and a first-aid kit – but it also does much more. Because the bundle is delivered by a caring community member and includes a guide to local resources, it also fosters social connections. The Period of PURPLE Crying, a parenting education program proven to reduce “shaken baby syndrome,” increases knowledge of parenting and child development.