Five Protective Factors for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
A strong family is able to support all of its members. For children, this may mean support for their education and self-esteem. Adults need strong families too. Members of a strong family feel confident and fulfilled.
No matter how strong your family is, there is always room for increased knowledge, understanding, and communication between members. Research has found 5 areas that are important in protecting families, especially children, and helping them overcome problems.
- Nurturing and Attachment - The relationship that develops early in life between a child and their caregiver affects the child's future relationships as well. A secure attachment will lead to well-adjusted relationships with other family members and peers.
- Knowledge of Parenting and How Children Develop - Understanding how children grow and develop allows parents to support them more effectively. For example, a parent must have realistic expectations in order to discipline fairly.
- Parental Resilience - Parents need to be able to respond to problems well. When they are calm, creative and confident there is a much better chance they will overcome challenges.
- Social Connections - Everyone needs other people. In the case of families, we rely on our social connections to help us when we have a problem, support us emotionally, and provide advice and guidance.
- Concrete Supports for Parents - Even the most skilled parent needs access to housing, food, medical care, clothing and transportation. Unfortunately, lack of resources can be a difficult barrier to overcome.