I recently attended the college graduation of my youngest nephew, Bobby Hendricks. I am so proud of Bobby!! Bobby was quoted as saying, “It’s not how your start, it’s how you finish.” This quote speaks to Bobby’s journey to earn his college degree while being a young father raising his son. Bobby persevered with the support of a loving family and an extended village. It really does take a village to raise a child and young adults who need additional support.
I grew up in a small town in Northeast Georgia where the village was definitely at work. I’m thankful for so many mentors and supporters that were there for me and my siblings. Whether it was a teacher, a neighbor or the church pastor, the village was at work. That same village is needed today, but that village must be healthy and armed with resources to handle the complexities of the society that we live in.
My goal with this article is to share resources that can change the trajectory for children and families.
I would like to introduce you to the Strengthening Families Georgia Approach as well as the Five Protective Factors. As a Strengthening Families Georgia Trainer, most of my work is done with the early care and education community, but I see a need to expand this work into the broader community.
What is the Strengthening Families approach? The Strengthening Families Approach is a research based approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is based on engaging families, programs and communities in five protective factors. The Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Office of Prevention and Family Support provides funding for the Strengthening Families effort in Georgia.
What are the Five Protective Factors? The Five Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families Approach. Research studies support the common-sense notion that when these Five Protective Factors are well established in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminishes. The Five Protective Factors are:
Children deserve and need strong families. These strong families lead to strong communities. We all have a role to play in the healthy development of our children. Think about ONE THING you can do to make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community. Be the change!!
Ways the village can be a safety net forchildren and families:
In his service,
Please feel free to contact Virginia for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org or vbconsultinggroup.com