Community Partnerships for Protecting Children wants to connect families to resources, information and knowledge that will help caregivers take care of the children they are responsible for. Please find some information we think is important and helpful below:
Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. They are attributes that serve as buffers, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing their children to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress.
Research has shown that these protective factors are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect:
Nurturing and Attachment
A child’s early experience of being nurtured and developing a bond with a caring adult affects all aspects of behavior and development. When parents and children have strong, warm feelings for one another, children develop trust that their parents will provide what they need to thrive, including love, acceptance, positive guidance, and protection.
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
Discipline is both more effective and more nurturing when parents know how to set and enforce limits and encourage appropriate behaviors based on the child’s age and level of development. Parents who understand how children grow and develop can provide an environment where children can live up to their potential. Child abuse and neglect are often associated with a lack of understanding of basic child development or an inability to put that knowledge into action. Timely mentoring, coaching, advice, and practice may be more useful to parents than information alone.
Resilience is the ability to handle everyday stressors and recover from occasional crises. Parents who are emotionally resilient have a positive attitude, creatively solve problems, effectively address challenges, and are less likely to direct anger and frustration at their children. In addition, these parents are aware of their own challenges—for example, those arising from inappropriate parenting they received as children—and accept help and/or counseling when needed.
Evidence links social isolation and perceived lack of support to child maltreatment. Trusted and caring family and friends provide emotional support to parents by offering encouragement and assistance in facing the daily challenges of raising a family. Supportive adults in the family and the community can model alternative parenting styles and can serve as resources for parents when they need help.
Concrete Supports for Parents
Many factors beyond the parent-child relationship affect a family’s ability to care for their children. Parents need basic resources such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, and access to essential services that address family-specific needs (such as child care and health care) to ensure the health and well-being of their children. Some families may also need support connecting to social services such as alcohol and drug treatment, domestic violence counseling, or public benefits. Providing or connecting families to the concrete supports that families need is critical. These combined efforts help families cope with stress and prevent situations where maltreatment could occur.
Social and Emotional Competence of Children
Just like learning to walk, talk, or read, children must also learn to identify and express emotions effectively. When a child has the right tools for healthy emotional expression, parents are better able to respond to his or her needs, which strengthens the parent-child relationship. When a child’s age, disability, or other factors affect his or her needs and the child is incapable of expressing those needs, it can cause parental stress and frustration. Developing emotional self-regulation is important for children’s relationships with family, peers, and others.
This information was taken from the National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention website. Click here for this and more information regarding the Protective Factors
40 Developmental Assets
Search Institute’s research shows that kids who have a lot of assets are more likely to do well in school, volunteer in the community and care about others. Kids who have lots of assets are less likely to use tobacco or drugs or be sexually active. Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. This information was taken from the ChildrenFirst website. Read about them here.
Local Parent Educators suggest the following sources for more parenting information:
- Centers for Disease Control: Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Centers for Disease Control: Child Development, Positive Parenting Tips for Children 0-17
- Family Dynamics: Communication & Discipline
- The Period of Purple Crying
- Child Sexual Abuse Prevention for Parents
- Dr. Ken Ginsburg’s 3rd edition of Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings
- Publications from the Child Welfare Information Gateway on the following topics:
- Protective factors
- Child and youth well-being
- Parent and caregiver well-being
- Strengthening marriages
- Fatherhood resources
- Parenting resources