Family Strengthening is child maltreatment prevention.
The most effective and compassionate strategy to ensure the well-being of children is to strengthen and support their family because
- Families have the greatest investment in and impact on the growth and development of their children, but it is impossible for families to do this on their own, without external help and supports.
- A family strengthening approach focuses on the dynamics and internal resources of the individual family as well as the community and social environment that surrounds it.
- Family strengthening emphasizes the importance of assisting all families to sustain health, and of reaching out with additional support before a family is in crisis and experiencing overwhelming stress.
The Prevention Board has three approaches toward strengthening families..
Build Protective Factors
- Protective Factors as defined in the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, are family attributes and resources, which serve to help caregivers promote healthy child development and well-being while also acting as buffers against adversity. Strengthening protective factors enables families to care for their own well-being.
Promote Primary Prevention
- Primary prevention programs, services and approaches address the root causes of child abuse and neglect before it occurs to avert harm before it can be identified.
Provide Universal Access
- Universal access (add link to primary prevention graphic) to strategies and resources creates community conditions that support and strengthen families according to their level of need. Since it is difficult to identify if, when, and how challenges will affect any family, it is important to provide supports to all families with the latitude to allow them to identify the type of assistance they require, and the opportunity to access more tailored and intensive levels of support as needed.
The Prevention Board family strengthening efforts are focused in six areas.
- Policy and Research
- Professional Development
- Public Awareness
- Parent Partnership