Friday, July 12, 2013

Key characteristics that lead to healthier families!

It wasn't till I had my own family that I realized how hard parenting was and that to do a good job I was going to need some help.  It was through friends, community and professionals that I was able to feel supported in making some very difficult decisions that eventually led to a much stronger and I meant add happier family.

Help Me Grow Utah believes that healthy families are the best way to ensure a child’s optimal development and we are invested in the well-being of families.

Every family has strengths and as family members we can identify our strengths and use them to increase the capacity of every individual in our family.  

The Center for Study of Social policy has been researching over many years what are the key characteristics that lead to healthier families.  These strengths or characteristics have been named “ five protective factors” and are the following:

1.      Social Connections-Friends
2.      Parental Resilience- Courage
3.      Concrete support in time of need- Resources
4.       Knowledge of parenting and child development- Knowledge and understanding
5.      Social and emotional competence of children-children has the ability to identify emotions, empathize with others and use this information to think about how to act.

Each of these factors can be reinforced by communities.  For example a community helps parents to connect with other parents.  Providing opportunities for parents of young children to connect can be so helpful because you begin to feel less isolated and
can discuss challenges with parents that are experiencing similar challenges.  A community that provides opportunities for this to happen is a place where families can flourish.  Another example of a community support is that of a central access point for parents to learn about what is available and what is good information.

We at Help Me Grow are committed to helping families connect to resources and receive information on parenting and child development.  As a parent strengthening these characteristics can give you knowledge to make the decisions for you and your children. 

When you are looking for resources and don’t know where to go you can dial 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow. 
A skilled care coordinator will help you identify resources and then check up to make sure that you received the services you need. 


 Barbara Leavitt, Director Help Me Grow Utah 

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