One of our four core values here at CCS is Truth, which calls us to be honest, authentic and to affirm the dignity and worth of every person. The truth is not always easy to face. Sometimes life gets hard, and we get so caught up in our thoughts and stories that we lose touch with our authentic selves. The five Protective Factors provide a solid framework made up of skills and support systems that we can rely on during life’s toughest moments. The Protective Factors remind us that it is okay to be human, and it is okay to ask for help.
Parental Resilience (courage): No one can eliminate stress from parenting, but a parent’s capacity for resilience can affect how a parent deals with stress. Resilience is the ability to manage and bounce back from all types of challenges that emerge in ever family’s life. It means find ways to solve problems, building and sustaining trusting relationships including relationships with your own child, and knowing how to seek help when necessary.
“I will continue to have courage during stress or after a crisis”
Social Connections (community): Friends, family members, neighbors, and community members provide emotional support, help solve problems, offer parenting advice, and give concrete assistance to parents. Networks of support are essential to parents and also offer opportunities for people to “give back,” an important part of self-esteem as well as benefit for the community. Isolated familes may need extra help in reaching out to build positive relationships.
“I have people who know me, friends, and at least one person who supports my parenting.”
Concrete Support in Times of Need (health): Meeting basic economic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and health care is essential for families to thrive. Likewise, when families encounter a crisis such as domestic violence, mental illness, or substance abuse, adequate services and supports need to be in place to provide stability, treatment, and help for family members to get through the crisis.
“My family has access to basic needs.”
Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development (freedom): Accurate information about child development and appropriate expectations for children’s behavior at every age helps parents see their children and youth in a positive light and promote their healthy development. Information can come from many sources, including family members as well as parent education classes and surfing the internet. Studies show information is most effective when it comes at the precise time parents need it to understand their own children. Parents who experience harsh discipline or other childhood experiences may need extra help to change the parenting patterns they learned as children.
“I am curious and responsive to what my children need.”
Social and Emotional Competence of Children (compassion): A child or youth’s ability to interact positively with others, self-regulate their behavior, and effectively communicate their feelings has a positive impact on their relationships with their family, other adults, and peers. Challenging behaviors or delayed development create extra stress for families, so early identification and assistance for both parents and children can head off negative results and keep development on track.
“My child feels loved, a sense of belonging, and can get along with others.”