Protective Factors

The Strengthening Families™ Approach

  • Benefits ALL families
  • Builds on family strengths, buffers risk, and promotes better outcomes
  • Can be implemented through small but significant changes in everyday actions
  • Builds on and can become a part of existing programs, strategies, systems and community opportunities
  • Is grounded in research, practice and implementation knowledge

The five Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families™ approach. Extensive research supports the common-sense notion that when these protective factors are present and robust in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminish.

The five protective factors identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) are:

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

Logic Model
CSSP has created a logic model to show how the Strengthening Families™ approach, and in particular, the Five Protective Factors lead to improved outcomes for families and children.

SFPF Logic Model Diagram


Everyday Actions
Everyday Actions are the small but significant changes in our approach to parents and caregivers that create an environment where families can build protective factors.  The graphic below shows the Everyday Actions identified by CSSP.

AFPF Every Day Actions