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Strengthening Families Learning Community


Strengthening Families and Protective Factors Defined

Tools for Informing the Strengthening Families Community

Purpose of the Strengthening Families Learning Community

The Strengthening Families Learning Community (SF Learning Community), convened by the Chief Executive Office, is in response to a directive of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  The SF Learning Community will play a key role in guiding the County’s efforts for an integrated service delivery system, which maximizes opportunities to measurably improve client and community outcomes and leverage resources through the continuous integration of health, community and public safety services. 

The SF Learning Community is comprised of high level staff members representing County departments that “touch” children and their families – Children and Family Services, Health, Mental Health, Office of Education, Parks and Recreation, Probation, Public Health, Public Library and Public Social Services.  Meetings are scheduled quarterly through 2012.

County department representatives are invited to use the SF Learning Community to strategically re-define their service delivery system within the Strengthening Families framework.  Members will examine how their respective vision and goals align with the Strengthening Families Approach and consider tactics for embedding the Protective Factors into their department’s practices and initiatives.  Most importantly, the SF Learning Community will offer a safe haven of sorts to allow for taking risks to think out loud and share what is working (or not).  The collective wisdom and openness of the members will truly contribute to the success of our efforts.

The Strengthening Families Approach (Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policies)

  • Benefits ALL families
  • Builds on family strengths, buffers risk and promotes better outcomes
  • Can be implemented through small but significant changes in everyday actions
  • Builds on and can become a part of existing programs, strategies, systems and community opportunities
  • Is grounded in research, practices and implementation knowledge

Protective Factors

The five Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families Approach.  When the Protective Factors are robust in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminishes.

  • Parental Resilience - The ability to bounce back from all types of challenges
  • Social Connections - Friends, family members, neighbors and other community members who provide emotional support and concrete assistance to parents
  • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development - Accurate information about raising young children and appropriate expectations for their behavior
  • Concrete Support in Times of Need - Financial security to cover day-to-day expenses and unexpected costs, access to formal and informal supports
  • Social and Emotional Competence of Children - A child’s ability to interact positively with others and communicate emotions effectively

Tools for Informing the Strengthening Families Learning Community

The Protective Factors Framework/Strengthening Families: Creating a New Normal

Strengthening Families as a Platform for Collaboration

Levers for Change: Implementing and Sustaining Strengthening Families in States and Counties

Strengthening Families National Network


Strengthening Families Learning Community
Office of Child Care
Service Integration Branch/Chief Executive Office
222 South Hill Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA  90012
(213) 974-4103 Telephone • (213) 217-5106 Facsimile

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