The Strengthening Families Framework was developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy to help those who work with young children and their families take action to support families and reduce child abuse and neglect. The approach focuses on five protective factors associated in research literature with lower rates of child abuse and neglect:

  • Parental Resilience: The ability of parents to form nurturing relationships and respond to stressful situations in productive ways.

  • Knowledge of parenting and child development: A parent’s understanding of how children develop and the role families play in fostering development.

  • Social Connections: The many positive relationships families need for emotional and concrete support.

  • Concrete Supports in Times of Need: A family’s ability to access help and resources when needed, from informal and/or formal support networks.

  • Social-Emotional Competence of Children: Children’s ability to express and control their emotions in a developmentally appropriate way.


More than 30 states have active initiatives to promote the Protective Factors. We are pleased to have developed our own materials to be used here in Kalamazoo County to support families. To find more materials and tools from the national Strengthening Families work go to

5 Protective Factors Flyers
5 Protective Factors Posters

Great Start Collaborative

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4606 Croyden Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49006


Tel: (269) 250-9635

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