Strengthening Families

Strengthening FamiliesThe Strengthening Families Through Early Care & Education Initiative is an approach to preventing child abuse and neglect by supporting families through childcare programs. The Center for the Study of Social Policy developed the framework for Strengthening Families through Early Care and Education Initiative. The fundamental principle is that certain protective factors contribute towards family resiliency and strength. These key protective factors are Parent resilience, Social connections, Knowledge of parenting and child development, Concrete support in times of need, and Healthy social and emotional development.

Early Care and Education Centers play a prominent role in building these protective factors among the families they serve. Through seven key strategies, centers become well positioned to help families build these protective factors that have proven to be effective in preventing child abuse and neglect. This approach uses early childhood programs to build evidence-based protective factors for children and their families. This is a strength-based approach which builds on existing assets to keep all families strong and all children safe.

By recent estimates, nearly 60 percent of all children under age six are in care out of their homes for at least part of the day. For children birth to age three, the percentage is even higher: 75 percent. While early care and education doesn’t reach all families with young children, it is the only system that reaches a large proportion of young children and their parents on a daily basis.

This program builds the capacity of the early childhood programs to implement strategies that increase protective factors to prevent child abuse and neglect among the families they serve by providing training and technical assistance. CLICK HERE for more information.

Child & Family Resources works with the local Division of Youth and Family Services office in ways to support the Strengthening Families Initiative in which we:

  • Provide trainings on the protective factors framework. (Social and Emotional Competence of Young Children, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social Connections, Concrete Support In Times of Need, and Parental Resilience)
  • Provide participating early childhood programs with the Strengthening Families guide book and Self Assessment Tool.
  • Provide technical assistance to child care centers and their families.
  • Utilize SFI Family Satisfaction Survey Pre/Post to assess progress.
  • CLICK HERE for access to Protective Factors Surveys or more information

Child & Family Resources also offers:

Books, Balls & BlocksBooks, Blocks, and Balls (BBB) is a free interactive family and community event that features themed learning activity stations in which children can engage in. One of the main focuses of the event is child-led play. BBB also offers a free child developmental screening, The Ages and Stages Questionnaire -3 (ASQ-3) for children ages 1 month -5 years old. The screening is completed by parents/guardians/caregivers to help track their child’s developmental milestones. By attending our event families also gain connection to several community resources and more!

Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3: The Ages and Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3) is a reliable and accurate developmental screening for children ages 1 month to 5 years old. The screening is completed by parents/guardians/caregivers and reviewed and scored by trained professionals. By using parent/guardian/caregiver’s knowledge, the screening has been specifically created to capture a child’s progress and skills, as well as catch if there is a risk for a developmental delay- the screening does not give a diagnosis. The screening focuses on important areas of development including Communication, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Problem Solving Skills, and Personal-Social. If you are interested in completing a free screening for your child or would like to learn more please contact us at

Parent Cafés: Parent Cafés are physically and emotionally safe spaces where parents and caregivers talk about the challenges and victories of raising a family. Through individual deep self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning, participants explore their strengths, learn about the Protective Factors, and create strategies from their own wisdom and experiences to help strengthen their families. Cafés are structured discussions that use the principles of adult learning and family support. They are highly sustainable with training reinforcement, institutional support, and a commitment to an approach that engages and affirms parents as leaders. Participants leave Parent Cafés feeling inspired, energized, and excited to put into practice what they’ve learned.

CLICK HERE if you’re a Child Care Provider wishing to utilize “Café Conversations to Build Protective Factors and Parent Leadership”. Click the language link for the “Orientation Guide to the Community Café Approach” ( ENGLISH | SPANISH )

If you are a Parent or a Child Care Provider wishing to learn about our Parent Café offerings please contact us at

For Child Care Providers/Centers: Are you interested in introducing a free developmental screening to your parents at your center/program? To learn more, contact us at

For Community Partners: Are you interested in participating in our BBB events? Here are some examples who can support: Parents, child care centers, pediatric offices, social services agencies, schools, grocery stores, recreation centers, food banks, Family Success Centers, Early Intervention, etc… Here is a list of ways you can participate: volunteering, vendor, hosting (providing venue space), co-partner, donations, workshops, etc…

Contact us today if you have any questions of if you would like to learn more!