Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities or the larger society that, when present, mitigate or eliminate risks in families and communities that, when present increase the health and well-being of children and families. Which is to say, protective factors help parents to find resources, support or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress. At Shasta CAPCC we follow Strengthening Families™ which 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
- Parents who can take it in stride when everyday life is stressful and can cope with the occasional crisis are said to be resilient. Everyone has had a hard day or days in a row when it just seems that nothing can go right. The car breaks down on the way to work. A family member is ill. The school calls and says your child is acting badly towards others. Etcetera… When parents take care in these stressful times their children learn a model of coping behavior. This is when you exercise flexibility & develop inner strength.
- Social connections
- Most parents need people they can call on once and while when they need someone to listen, give advice, or just when feeling a little down. Often family helps out, but everyone needs a friend or group to do fun things with, swap stories about their children or just have a cup of coffee with occasionally.
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Learn to be your child expert. Who knows a child best – their likes and dislikes, the things that interest them and the things they do really well? You Do! But no parent is an expert in everything about their child’s development and the best ways to help their children manage social and emotional behaviors.
- Concrete support in times of need
- Families have basic needs such as housing, food, clothing, etcetera. They may also need help with childcare, physical and mental health. Most of us are unlikely to use words like “concrete supports”. It is more of knowing where to get access to essential services and making sure your basic needs are being met.
- Social and emotional competence of children
- Children learn to talk about and handle feelings. This happens when you give your child words to express how they feel. It involves skills such as self-confidence, curiosity, motivation, persistence and self-control which affect growth, trust and future learning.
Links to Protective Factors Information: