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Protective Factors

Preventing child abuse and neglect starts with protective factors. When protective factors are present, the risk of abuse and neglect decreases. Protective factors are conditions that reduce or eliminate risk factors in families and communities, increasing the health and well-being of children and families. Maine Children's Trust is the state lead for the Center for Study on Social Policy's Strengthening Families Protective Factor research informed approach which is based on engaging families, programs, and communities in building five key protective factors:

1) Parental Resilience - building inner strength,
2) Concrete Supports - knowing how to find help,
3) Social Connections - connecting with others,
4) Knowledge of Child Development - parenting as children grow and
5) Social-emotional Competency of Children - helping kids understand emotions.

When families have protective factors in their lives, abuse occurs less frequently. The Trust promotes and supports training to caregivers, family serving professionals, and organizations so that families, professionals, and communities can share a common language and approach to strengthening child and family well-being.