Promoting Protective Factors and Strengthening Resilience

  • Tova B. Walsh
  • Sandra Nay McCourt
  • Whitney L. Rostad
  • Kaela Byers
  • Kerrie Ocasio
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 5)


Protective factors are qualities of individuals and conditions in families and communities that serve to preserve and promote child and family well-being. They function as buffers, mitigating risk for child abuse and neglect and promoting resilience, which is the ability to successfully and positively adapt to circumstances that threaten well-being. In this chapter, the authors draw on literature from within and beyond the field of child maltreatment prevention to present findings that can inform prevention efforts. The chapter addresses: (1) the emergence of protective factors and resilience as a focus of practice and research, (2) the growing evidence of the importance of focusing on protective factors and resilience in child maltreatment prevention, (3) examples of innovative programming and research efforts that specifically focus on strengthening families by promoting protective factors and enhancing resilience, (4) how these types of promotional approaches can be taken to scale, and (5) research and policy initiatives with the potential to inform program planning.


Protective factors Resilience Strengths-based approaches Promotion of child wellbeing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tova B. Walsh
    • 1
  • Sandra Nay McCourt
    • 2
  • Whitney L. Rostad
    • 3
  • Kaela Byers
    • 4
  • Kerrie Ocasio
    • 5
  1. 1.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars ProgramUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Social Science Research InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.National SafeCare Training and Research Center (NSTRC)Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  5. 5.School of Social WorkRutgers, The State University of New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA

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