By: Kim McDougal, Executive Director, YMCA Childcare Resource Service

The Strengthening Families Framework that YMCA Childcare Resource Service has selected to guide our work is an evidence-based approach that identifies five Protective Factors that, when present and robust in families, help prevent child abuse and neglect, as well as support optimal healthy growth and development in children.

The five Protective Factors are: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children.

As you can see from the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework Logic Model (above) there are specific programs and staff level practices we have put in place to support this work, which when combined with system-level supports can create real changes for families.

Please follow this link to learn more about the five Protective Factors.  As you read through these think about how our work with parents, providers, and co-workers contributes to building strength in these areas. Think about how we can modify our practices to better support these areas of need, think about what you need as a professional to build your protective factors as you support those around you, think about the trainings you have recently attended on Trauma Informed Care or Adverse Childhood Experiences and how those trainings help prepare you as a professional in this field.