Building Protective Factors​​​

Protective Factors keep families strong

The Strengthening FamiliesTM Protective Factors Framework indentifies five protective factors that represent the essential qualities and resources that families need to support the well-being of their children and deal more effectively with the challenges and stresses of life. The five protective factors are:

  • Social and Emotiona​l Competence of Children
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
  • Social Connections
  • Parental Resilience
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need

​The Prevention Board seeks to increase awareness and approaches that enhance protective factors​​

All Prevention Board endeavors are grounded in Strengthening FamiliesTM Protective Factors Framework​. Resources and assistance are provided to support grantees and partners in taking that same approach. Integrating Protective Factors into all aspects of organizational and community interactions with families provides a common language to focus on family strengths and enables families themselves to understand, identify, and build their own Protective Factors.

The following graphic represents how the Prevention Board supports grantees in embedding and reinforcing the Protective Factors throughout all aspects of their organization and work, including educational opportunities specifically for parent and caregiver participants, integration into the practice of each educator in the organization, incorporation into existing programming, services, and operations and promoting public awareness of the Protective Factors within their community or service area.

PFF integration graphic

Five for Families curriculum

The Five for Families parent curriculum was created by the Prevention Board and collaborators to enable families to explore their Five Strengths in partnership with family serving educators. Families are guided through activities that highlight different aspects of each strength. The curriculum is flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs and interests of participants. It can be offered individually or in groups and can be incorporated into existing programming.

Integration into Practice

Integration of Protective Factors is incorporated into the Prevention Board’s grant requirements for organizations, including the expectation that all family serving staff will attend the ​ Bringing the Protective​ Factors Framework to Life in Your Work training​. The Prevention Board works with partners to provide this training to Wisconsin family serving professionals by embedding certified trainers into their organization. The goal of the training is to assist professionals to identify the impact of protective factors in their own lives and incorporate them into their everyday actions and daily work with families. Professionals also learn to communicate the importance of protective factors to those they partner with and serve. To highlight the importance of partnering with parents to build protective factors, the Prevention Board provides technical support and funding to incorporate parent co-presenters into each training. A portion of grant funds are also allocated toward staff time to focus on protective factors within family resource centers. Having a common understanding of the protective factors creates a shared language between staff, with parents, and among the larger community.

Five for Families Public Awareness

The Prevention Board, in partnership with parents, caregivers and professionals, developed a public awareness campaign to increase exposure and disseminate understanding of protective factors among families and the communities in which they live. The Five for Families campaign utilizes everyday, relatable language. Within the campaign, the five protective factors are known as the Five Strengths​, and accompanying descriptions are strengths-based and family-centered. A central feature of the campaign is the Five for Families website​

Incorporation into Programming and Services

All parent education programming and other activities funded by the Prevention Board are grounded in the Protective Factors Framework and show evidence of child maltreatment prevention or address related risk factors. Effort is made to ensure that the array of offerings together target all five protective factors. Examples include diaper drives that provide concrete supports in times of need, family activities that foster social connections, and parent education programming that builds knowledge of Parenting and child development.​​