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We all want to have families that are absolutely amazing. We want them to be strong, healthy, and happy. We want to not only continually improve our situation but set it up so that the next generation has it even better than us.

This is doable by incorporating the Strengthening Families Protective Factors (SFPF) into family life. There is a large body of evidence that shows that this works regardless of any the ways that families can be unique. These factors counteract adverse childhood experiences and help families flourish. Due to the protective factors’ immense impact on child abuse, we are doing a series of posts on these factors as a part of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month. 

The impact of the protective factors on families as well as child abuse cannot be overstated.  How high is the impact? There is a stronger correlation between six or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and suicide than there is between smoking and lung cancer. Additionally, evidence shows strong correlations between ACEs and self-destructive behaviors as well as mental health issues. The protective factors both counteract and prevent adverse childhood experiences. A link to more information on ACEs is at the bottom of the post.

The five Strengthening Families Protective Factors are:

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

Additionally, the SFPF are elements of family life that all families can continually seek to improve. As we continually improve these five factors in our family, we will continually increase the level at which our family thrives. We can always become more resilient, improve social connections, parenting skills and knowledge of child development. We can always work to help our children become more socially and emotionally competent. As we do this we make our family stronger, healthier, and happier.  And, we set up the next generation for an even better life.

In upcoming posts, we will look at each factor individually and get some ideas as to how to begin building the protective factors into family life. And, if that isn’t enough, we would love to come and do a protective factors training for your group. This approach to families can be woven into the fabric of businesses, organizations, and churches to help strengthen their associated families. We would be thrilled to help you build this approach into your family and/or organization and the work you do.

This framework is built into all our programming and is core to what we do and how we do it at the Circle of Care. For us, the win is when we can look and see families become stronger, healthier, and happier and that one generation is in an even better place than the one before them. The Protective Factors help us do just that.

More on ACEs can be found here:

More on the Strengthening Families Protective Factors can be found here:

More on the major program offered through the Circle of Care can be found here:

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