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Strengthening Families Ohio

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund has made the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework a core part of its child abuse and neglect prevention approach.

The goal of Strengthening Families Ohio is to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing a common framework and a set of tools to all individuals, organizations and systems that touch the lives of young children and their families.

This framework takes a parent-focused approach that recognizes parents are essential to the well-being of children and aims to provide parents with the resources and support they need to be successful. The goal is not to “fix” parents, but to work hand-in-hand with parents to teach them skills that will enable the health and wellness of the whole family.

The Trust Fund chose this model because its effectiveness in the lives of families and children is supported by research and evidence.

The Trust Fund has worked for several years with childcare professionals, child welfare professionals, community organizations, and parents to integrate this framework into child abuse and neglect prevention strategies in Ohio.

What is Strengthening Families?

Strengthening Families is a framework based on research that is designed to increase family strengths, enhance child development, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.

It takes a different approach to child abuse and neglect prevention — rather than focusing on risk factors and targeting high risk families or children, it builds on the idea that all families can benefit from family skills education.

The ideas at the heart of Strengthening Families are that:

  • All families have strengths.
  • All families need support.
  • Protective factors provide all families what they need to ensure the strength of their families and wellness of their children.

The framework places value on the knowledge and experience that parents can share with each other. It also takes the approach that there is no one right way to parent, but that parents should have many alternatives and options to fit individual situations and their families.

The framework is used by states in early childhood, child welfare, child abuse prevention, and other child- and family serving systems to change how service providers interact with families and help them build protective factors.

The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund is the state lead for Strengthening Families Ohio. Contact us to learn more about this framework.