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  • Strengthening Families™ is an approach to working with families that builds upon family strengths, rather than focusing on deficits. It is not a curriculum or a program, but instead offers a framework of five research-based Protective Factors that give parents what they need to parent effectively. When these protective factors are robust in families the likelihood of child abuse and neglect is reduced. This approach benefits all families, not just those experiencing stress.

    The Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors

    • Parental Resilience
    • Social Connections
    • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
    • Concrete Supports in Times of Need
    • Social and Emotional Competence of Children


    In Pennsylvania this approach has been adopted throughout several family-serving systems. The Strengthening Families Leadership Team provides professional development, coordinates messaging and offers networking opportunities for providers implementing the approach.

    The website is currently supported by the Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. It is managed by the Center for Schools and Communities.