Protective Factors

All Roads Lead to ResilienceYou can help Walla Walla reduce ACEs and build resilience in our children and in parents. This site provides tools that incorporate five, evidence-based protective factors from Center for the Study of Social Policy, Strengthening FamiliesTM. When a family is stronger, children can be emotionally healthy, not stressed. And, their brains will be ready to learn. The five protective factors are:

  • Parental resilience
    Hi, would you like me to tell you how to eliminate all stress from your parenting life? I CAN’T!!! No one can!!!
    But there ARE ways that can build your resilience as a parent in order to better handle the stresses that are a natural part of parenting. Just like on the airplane, when the flight attendant says, “Put your own mask on first, then on your child,” you too must take care of yourself in order to take care of your child. Put yourself first so that you CAN take care of your child. Take a look at the items below that will help you take care of yourself. Each of these protective factors is connected, and you can learn about each of them here.
  • Social connections
    As parents, we ALL need one another. We naturally seek close attachment and connections with others. Beginning with our mothers, fathers, and our immediate/extended family and then moving out to the broader community, we need relationships in order to thrive! And, our social environments matter! In fact, they matter so much that we are impacted at the cellular level of our bodies by the people, places, and experiences in our lives. These experiences can even transform the risks we encounter into assets. This means, as parents, we cannot do our job alone. One of the greatest risks in parenting is isolation from others. When things get tough, who can you call? Learn more about building social connections.
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
    Have  you ever thought about what it takes to get a driver’s license? Or the kind of schooling and training you need to become a licensed  plumber airline pilot or a teacher? These require study and certifications. Yet, anyone can become a parent without licensing, special training or certification. And this is the most important job you’ll ever have! Even more challenging is the fact that there’s never an owner’s manual. We hope this site will prepare you for your most important job and give you important knowledge that will help you as you parent. 
  • Concrete support in times of need
    Everyone deserves to have their basic needs met in order to grow. Basic needs like food, shelter and personal safety are vital for a child’s development so they can feel safe, secure, and cared for. We all need help finding ways to meet our needs, and we all need to ask for help sometimes – especially when we’re parents! 
  • Children’s social and emotional development
    One of the most important roles of a parent is teaching our children how to communicate with others and to identify and name them their feelings so they can regulate express them appropriately. This gives our children a sense of  competence and confidence that they can manage what life brings their way – what a gift to give your child! 

Learn more about risk and protective factors

Risks are thinks that have happened or are happening to us that set us up for unhealthy things in the future. ACEs are risk factors! A simple example of risk is: if, as a child our parents neglected to hold us in our infant years, we could have missed an important connection that helps our brain to develop. As a result, we could be as-risk later in life. Protective factors act as a counter weight to risk factors. They buffer the impact of what the researchers call “toxic stress”. Another way to look at it: anyone can be “at risk” for high blood pressure, for example, but risk can be reduced by focusing on health. It’s the same with protective factors – they can lead to stronger families.

Did you know? Depression is associated with experiencing ACES, and depression is a risk factor leading to many major illnesses.

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Teri Barila
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Phone: (509) 301-2488

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