Protective factors keep families strong

There are specific research-informed protective factors that help to keep families strong. In Minnesota, we are working to educate parents and create community environments and public policies that promote these protective factors.

  • Nurturing and attachment. Small acts of kindness, protection, and caring – a hug, a smile, or loving words – make a big difference to children.
  • Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development. Parents learn what to look for at each age and how to help their children reach their full potential within their own cultural identity.
  • Parental resilience. Recognizing the signs of stress and enhancing problem-solving skills can help parents continue to have courage during and after a crisis.
  • Social connections. Parents with family, friends, and neighbors to depend on have better support in times of need.
  • Concrete supports for parents. Caregivers with access to financial, housing, and other concrete resources and services that help them meet their basic needs can better attend to their role as parents.
  • Social and emotional competence of children. A child’s ability to interact positively with others and communicate his or her emotions effectively helps parents be more responsive to their needs.