Launched in 2001 by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, Strengthening Families is a research-based, cost-effective strategy to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce child abuse and neglect. The initiative focuses on building five Protective Factors within families — parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children.
Strengthening Families West Virginia involves multiple agencies, state-level departments, and individuals who share a commitment to incorporate the Protective Factors in the work of programs across the state.
With a focus on protective factors, rather than risk factors, family strengths are enhanced. The Strengthening Families approach is based on the belief that all families can use support and enhancement of the five Protective Factors, instead of services being targeted only to those families identified as “at-risk.”