Douglas County is an advocate for the Strengthening Families approach to preventing child abuse and neglect.
Strengthening Families is a research-informed 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 building five key Protective Factors.
- Parental resilience
- Social connections
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Concrete support in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children
Using the Strengthening Families framework, more than 30 states, including Colorado, are shifting policy and practice to help programs working with children and families focus on protective factors.
Douglas County also partners locally with Manna Connect, Shiloh House, the Tri-County Health Department Nurse-Family Partnership and the Tennyson Center for Children to implement these practices.
Specifically, regarding the Tennyson Center for Children initiative, Douglas County is one of seven Colorado Counties who in 2019 became involved in the statewide collaborative called Rewiring, which seeks to ensure that families remain safely together and eventually reduce the number of children and families involved with the child welfare system. Rewiring provides earlier support for children and families, prevents and diverts families from entering child welfare, and allows us to follow the children we work with into adulthood.