Strategies for Strengthening Families in the Primary Grades

Posted by on October 03, 2011

Partnership yields family-strengthening resource

The Center for Schools and Communities, Office of Child Development and Early Learning and the Pennsylvania Parent Information Resource Center staff have published Strategies for Strengthening Families in the Primary Grades as a part of a series of resources developed by the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.

The information obtained from two focus groups and feedback from workshops conducted in 2010 contributed to the publication, the refinement of an introductory workshop on the topic, and the development of a website about Strengthening Families.

Strengthening Families is an approach to working with families that has been found to be effective in preventing child abuse and neglect.  Research demonstrates that this approach, building upon strengths rather than focusing on deficits, can support family’s engagement with their children’s learning in the K-12 setting.  It is not another curriculum or a new program; instead, it offers a framework of five research-based protective factors that give parents what they need to parent effectively, even under stress.  The protective factors are:
— For children:  Healthy social and emotional development
— For adults:  Knowledge of parenting and child development
— Social connections for families
— Concrete supports in time of need
— Parental resilience (ability to meet challenges and stresses)

The Strengthening Families message is that by capitalizing and reframing what teachers and schools already do, using a strengths-based, protective factors approach will open the door to innovative small, but significant changes in practice that recognize and support parents as decision makers and leaders.  The approach also empowers parents to be strong advocates and partners in their children’s academic careers.

To see the resources developed, visit here.

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