Seven Program Strategies

The Strengthening Families framework is full of ideas to help you bring intentionality to building protective factors as a natural part of what you do.

Here are the seven strategies for strengthening and deepening your work.

  1. Facilitating friendships and mutual support--Helping parents to connect with each other and develop social networks.
  2. Strengthening parenting--Providing guidance, role modeling, and information on parenting and child development, including special support around children’s challenging behaviors.
  3. Responding to family crises--Noticing family stress, listening, making referrals, and/or mobilizing other parents to provide support as needed.
  4. Linking families to services and opportunities--Making and following through on referrals, maintaining relationships with service providers, and sharing community information with families.
  5. Facilitating children’s social and emotional development--Providing a nurturing and caring environment, using a structured curriculum for social and emotional development, teaching parents to support that development and respond to challenges, and observing and responding to signs that development is not on track.
  6. Observing and responding to early warning signs of child abuse and neglect--Consistent monitoring of child health and family stress, immediate outreach at signs of stress, clear protocols for staff response, and trusting relationships with social service and mental health agencies.
  7. Valuing and supporting parents--Making all family members feel welcome, involving parents and caregivers in decision-making at all levels, and providing many opportunities for participation.