• May 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 5

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New Information Gateway Protective Factors Brief

Child Welfare Information Gateway published a new issue brief that provides an overview of protective factors approaches to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Child maltreatment prevention and intervention strategies have traditionally focused on the reduction of risk factors (the stressful conditions, events, or circumstances that can increase poor family outcomes). This issue brief discusses the growing recognition and evidence that employing a protective factors approach to positively engage families can help to outweigh risk factors and improve overall family outcomes.

The brief is designed to help policymakers, administrators, child welfare and related professionals, service providers, advocates, and others understand the concepts of risk and protective factors in families and communities. Protective factors (conditions or attributes of individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate risk and promote healthy development and well-being) are discussed in detail, along with several key protective factors approaches currently used in the field. The approaches themselves are also analyzed, and connections between protective factors defined in each approach are mapped. Finally, the brief provides examples of jurisdictions that are already applying protective factors approaches and gives information on some of their recent activities.

The issue brief was written in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Social Policy and the Children's Bureau. Information Gateway is pleased to announce that Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare is the first of its publications to launch with a fresh, new design. Access this new brief here:


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