Strengthening Families - The Basics
Research indicates that five Protective Factors reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect:
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Children's social and emotional competence
Across the country, early care and education programs, child welfare departments, mental health agencies and others are using the Strengthening Families approach to build the Protective Factors in families, providing parents with what they need to parent effectively even under stress. The Strengthening Families Guidebook, which details the background of the framework, its implementation around the country, descriptions of the Protective Factors and the strategies that support them, and the self-assessment forms that agencies can use to measure their own work, can be downloaded for free from the Strengthening Families website:
Idaho AEYC is a leader in the Strengthening Families approach to working with children and families.
- Idaho is one of 9 states designated as a Partner in the Strengthening Families National Network. Partners have deep, broad-based Strengthening Families initiatives across multiple systems in the state, and have a leadership role in the system. The Idaho Children's Trust Fund is the Lead Agency in this initiative.
- IdahoSTARS has Strengthening Families as one of the eight Quality Standards in the Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care facilities. Idaho is the only state that has a distinct standard that measures the trainings and implementation of the Strengthening Families framework in practice.
- Idaho AEYC, in collaboration with the Idaho Children's' Trust Fund, created Strengthening Families through Early Care and Education basic level toolbox training: 8-module, 17-hour training curriculum that is part of the QRIS and the IdahoSTARS Professional Development System. This training curriculum is also available in Spanish.
- The Strengthening Families National Network of Toolbox Trainers is a growing group of trainers who have been trained by the authors of the curriculum in the delivery of the basic level toolbox trainings. 30 Idaho trainers are currently certified NNTT trainers, plus trainers from several other states around the nation.
- Six Intermediate Level Strengthening Families trainings and one Advanced Level training are now available.
- The Strengthening Families Specialization is a broad, deep, personal exploration of the Strengthening Families framework which is now available to child care providers in Idaho who are enrolled in the Professional Development System.
- Strengthening Families is now expanding its focus from child care facilities to all agencies who deal regularly with families with young children. Idaho AEYC has provided workshops to explore cross-systems integration of the Strengthening Families framework, in Idaho and in California.