For information contact the project manager, Carolyn Brinkman at 4C for Children at 513-758-1314. You can visit the Strengthening Families website at

4C for Children is the fiscal agent for Strengthening Families.

Carolyn Brinkmann, Program Manager


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Strengthening FamiliesStrengthening Families


The Hamilton County Family and Children First Council (FCFC) is charged by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fun with developing and funding a county plan for the prevention of child abuse and neglect.  After considerable research, FCFC determined that Strengthening Families is a prevention strategy that shows great promise and as a result made a decision to bring the Strengthening Families framework to Hamilton County.  In 2009, The Consortium for Resilient Young Children (CRYC) was awarded a grant from FCFC to bring the Strengthening Families Initiative (SFI) to Cincinnati’s western neighborhoods.

Strengthening Families Approach

Across the country, early care and education programs, child welfare departments, and others are using the Strengthening Families approach to ensure the wellness of children. This approach, as developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is built upon Five Protective Factors for families. These protective factors are:

  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Children’s social and emotional development

Research shows that these factors reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect by providing parents with what they need to parent effectively, even under stress.  Program strategies that support these protective factors have been developed for early child care and education settings.  In addition, outreach and educational activities have been implemented in many communities as a means to support parents through the development of social networks and resources.

Project Goal and Plan

The Strengthening Families Initiative (SFI) is being brought to the Cincinnati’s western neighborhoods in order to ensure the wellness and resiliency of parents and children.  The SF protective factors are being supported within the targeted neighborhoods through the creation and delivery of a community outreach plan and the implementation of the Strengthening Families approach in early childhood settings.  Strategies for this project are to:

  • Provide coaching and specialized training for child care centers and family child care providers through coaching sessions, workshops and networking opportunities.
  • Provide outreach and education to parents through parenting events and collaborations.
  • Build the capacity of the community to meet the needs of families by increasing awareness, services and resources.

How to Get Involved

  • Join the SFI as a member of the Early Child Care Learning Network.  Currently  accepting applications for enrollment into this quality initiative from early child care and education centers and family child care providers residing in the 45211, 454214, 42225 and 45238  ZIP code areas. Contact Carolyn Brinkmann at 513-758-1314. 
  • Attend a Parent Cafè.  Join other parents in sharing resources and building networks of support.  Obtain information on upcoming dates and locations by calling 513-758-1311 or by logging onto
  • Join the Parent and Community Board.  Provide input into the design of parent and community resources and supports.  Contact Carolyn Brinkmann at 513-758-1314.

4C for Children is the Strengthening Families project fiscal agent and will provide administrative oversight. 4C is the region’s early childhood education resource and referral service. Other CRYC partners in Strengthening Families include the Children’s Home and Talbert House, Santa Maria Community Services is a 111-year old, private, not-for-profit human services organization that is dedicated to empowering members of the communities they serve.

For information contact the project manager, Carolyn Brinkman at 4C for Children at 513-758-1314. You can visit the Strengthening Families website at