Protective Factors

dad with infant sonProtective factors are characteristics in individuals, families, and communities that promote the healthy development and well-being of children and families.

The Five Protective Factors

The factors below have been shown to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

  1. Parental Resilience:
    Parents with resilience have  inner resources, such as faith, flexibility, and humor, that they can draw on during tough times. They are also ready and able to seek help in times of trouble.

  2. Social Connections:
    Parents who have a strong network of support (e.g., family, friends, neighbors) are better able to care for their children and themselves and are at lower risk of abusing or neglecting their children. 

  3. Concrete Supports:
    Families whose basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, health insurance, and housing) have been met are better able to ensure their children’s safety and well-being.
  4. Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development: 
    Parents who understand child development are more likely to provide their children with respectful communication, consistent rules and expectations, developmentally- appropriate limits, and opportunities that promote independence.
  5. Social and Emotional Competence of Children: 
    Children’s challenging behaviors and developmental delays can cause extra stress for families.  Identifying issues early on can help keep children safe and help parents foster their children's healthy development

Learn More About Protective Factors

Resources That Can Strengthen Your Family's Protective Factors

Browse the Resources for Parents section to find resources on child development, economic help, legal resources, parenting resources, and more.