Strengthening Families is a research-based framework developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy ( used to engage families, programs, and communities with the goal to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and decrease the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.  Strengthening Families achieves this by focusing on the exploration, development, and reinforcement of five protective factors:

  • Parental Resilience
  • Social Connections
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need
  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children

Parents want what is best for their children. Yet meeting all the demands of parenting can become overwhelming. Strengthening Families strives to ensure the wellness and resiliency of children by building the capacity of parents to access support and meet the needs of their children. Through the promotions of protective factors, Strengthening Families helps parents gain the resources, social connections and knowledge to draw upon in times of need.

Northern Kentucky Strengthening Families is a collaborative effort that offers a framework for nurturing the wellness and resilience of NKY families. This framework identifies key principles and proven strategies that ensure organizational success in promoting protective factors. Aligned with KY Strengthening Families, NKY Strengthening Families:

  • Believes that Strengthening Families Protective Factors benefit all families.
  • Embraces the importance of the Protective Factors as a means to build strong families. 
  • Understands that all families have varying needs and strengths.
  • Engages families in decision-making and advocacy.
  • Honors the culture, uniqueness and strengths of families.
  • Intentionally facilitates a paradigm shift that places families at the center of beliefs and practices. “Walk the talk”
  • Leverages resources and build partnerships that support families.
  • Collaborates at multiple levels; internally within the organization, between organizations, within communities, and with families themselves.
  • Advances a common message.


    Parental Resilience
    The ability to bounce forward and manage the stress of daily life, challenges and crisis that occur as well as adapt despite current or past trauma.

    Social Connections
    Having positive, reliable relationships that provide support, buffer stress and encourage positive parenting.

    Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
    Developing alternative parenting strategies, setting realistic expectations and supporting children to achieve developmental milestones.

    Social & Emotional Competence of Children
    Children’s ability to communicate clearly, recognize and manage their emotions and form and keep positive relationships.

    Concrete Support in Time of Need.
    Access to support and services related to the family’s needs that help minimize stress and promote family wellness.

    Nurturing & Attachment
    The child’s early connection and experiences with a caring adult that help children feel safe and secure.

    The classroom observations and reflective meetings provide me with positive strategies to successfully support the needs and worries of the children in my classroom. My experience with RCFP has supported me with effective, positive communication tools to implement when I have to communicate with my parents regarding a concern about their child. It has also provided me with a resource and support system for my parents who have special concerns about their children.

    Kim Thompson

    Teacher, Learning Grove City Link