Strengthening Families is an approach to working with families to prevent child abuse and neglect 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, even under stress.

The Protective Factors

For adults:

  • Parental Resilience
  • Social Connections for Families
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
  • Concrete Supports in Times of Need

For children:

  • Healthy social and emotional development

Pennsylvania is one of several states using Strengthening Families in its core safety net and as the first response to families under stress. This prevention approach reduces the chance that families will require more costly government services and is a cost-effective way to reduce abuse and neglect, lighten social service caseloads and improve school success.

How to Use this Website

By clicking on the tabs above or to the side you will find more information and resources. The website houses many embedded links to articles, other websites and national and state organizations that support the Strengthening Families Philosophy. The links are not all-inclusive, but rather are a sampling of materials that might be most useful to you as an educator or parent.  

The website is currently supported by the Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund with Support from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.