Strengthening Families™

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The Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework™ was introduced in 2003 by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). It is a research informed, family strengths-based initiative for preventing child abuse and neglect in families of children birth to 5 years old. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funded the original research with CSSP and also funded the National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds (Alliance). The Alliance works to engage its network of children’s trust and prevention funds to demonstrate unique and innovative ways to implement the protective factors framework.

The Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework™ professional development is grounded in the belief that healthy development and well-being cannot be explained simply as preventing, mitigating, coping with, or eliminating risk factors. It is based on engaging families, programs, and communities in building five key Protective Factors. As the foundation of Strengthening Families™, these five Protective Factors have characteristics that have been shown to make positive outcomes more likely for young children and their families, and to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.


Strengthening Families™ helps early educators:

  • Implement the Protective Factors Framework
  • Engage families, programs, and communities in building the five key Protective Factors
  • Use knowledge of the five Protective Factors to create positive outcomes for young children and their families
  • Reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect for children ages birth to 5 years old

Strengthening Families™ includes the following lessons:

  1.   Introduction  3 hours
  2.   Parental Resilience  3 hours
  3.   Knowledge of Parenting and Development  3 hours
  4.   Concrete Support in Times of Need  3 hours
  5.   Children's Social and Emotional Competence  3 hours
  6.   Social Connections  3 hours
  7.   Wrap-up—Moving from Knowledge to Action  3 hours

Strengthening Families™ offers the following to all participants:

  • Up to 21 hours of professional development credit from the Arkansas Professional Development Registry (PDR) and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)
  • Available for anyone to enroll in FREE OF CHARGE
  • FREE course materials and access to in-depth content, including a participant manual, booklets, posters, and other resources
  • Up to 2.1 Continuing Education Units (CEU), upon request
  • Certificate of Completion and Verification of Training Hours, upon request
  • Opportunity to collaborate and build community engagement with other industry experts

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) approves all courses provided by Early Care and Education Projects for professional development credit. However, the awarding of professional development credit is based solely on the discretion of your local school district. Learn more by reviewing the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development (Feb 2016).

Visit the Arkansas Professional Development Registry (PDR) to find available courses or call (800) 632-8754.


Contact Jenny Dura to find out more.

Jenny Dura
Jenny Dura
(RSSV)-Research & Service Units
Training Advisor
Early Care & Education Projects