"The solution of all adult problems tomorrow depends in large measure upon the way our children grow up today,"
- Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
Research suggests that strong parent involvement and empowerment promotes more positive relationships and attachment and more favorable developmental outcomes for children over time. Recent empirical evidence illuminates the pathways which intersect genetics, early brain development, and the environment in shaping early developmental outcomes. Research also underscores the ways in which warm, nurturing parent-child interaction promotes positive cognitive, physical, and behavioral developmental outcomes.
Indeed, parents play vital roles in nurturing early brain development through their sensitive responsivity to their children’s early development. Positive levels of stress stimulate normative growth and development. Researchers suggest that early exposure to “toxic” stress such as poverty, parental depression, and child maltreatment affect brain development negatively and accumulate over time to affect learning, developmental and health outcomes over the life course (Shonkoff, Boyce, and McEwen, 2009).
Early prevention programs have an established record of evidence to support parents, families, and communities in promoting positive developmental outcomes and educational success among all children, especially among the children most vulnerable to negative or toxic stress. Evidence supports the fact that exposure to protective factors such as evidenced-based prevention programs and supportive interactions with parents effectively promote positive developmental outcomes.
Families thrive when protective factors are robust in their lives and communities.
Those five protective factors are:
1. Parental resilience
2. Social connections
3. Knowledge of parenting and child development
4. Concrete support in times of need
5. Social and emotional competence of children.
Summaries on each protective factor: 5 Factors
Strategies to help build each protective factor: Build Protective Factors
Center For the Study of Social Policy Strong Families Brochure: Click here.
Our Parent Coalition serves as one of many ways to build strong families!
-Strengthening Families and Parent Cafes
-Parent Leadership - Great Start Collaborative and Home Visitation Program
-Children's Activity and Nutrition
To review mini-grant awardees and their target audiences click: Summary Sheet SF Minigrant Awards