What is Strengthening Families Alaska?
Strengthening Families is a proven, cost-effective approach to building Protective Factors around children by supporting family
strengths and resiliency. In 2005, Alaska was one of seven states to be selected
by the Center for the Study of Social Policy to pilot this approach. The Alaska
Strengthening Families Leadership Team is now working to expand the use of
this model across the state.
The Strengthening Families approach:
- Benefits ALL families
- Builds on family strengths,
buffers risk, and promotes better
- Can be implemented through
small but significant changes in
- Builds on and can become a part
of existing programs, strategies,
systems and community opportunities
- Is grounded in research, practice
and implementation knowledge
What is special about this approach?
Five Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families
Approach: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of
need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional
competence of children. Research studies support the common-sense notion
that when these Protective Factors are well established in a family, the likelihood
of child abuse and neglect diminishes. Research shows that these Protective
Factors are also “promotive” factors that build family strengths and a family
environment that promotes optimal child and youth development.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy spent two years researching and identifying five protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. These are:
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Healthy social and emotional development