Research Driven

We seek to bring Evidence-Based and Research-Informed practices to our community. 

What is the Strengthening Families Approach?

  • Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy in 2005, the Strengthening Families Framework and Approach is a foundational framework in the Family Support field.  The approach focuses on building 5 Protective Factors with families that research has shown increase family stability, enhance child development, and reduce child abuse and neglect
  • Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that, when present, mitigate or eliminate risk and increase the health and well-being of children and families.
  • Protective factors help parents to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress.

Learn more about Pathways to Outcomes

Learn more about Strengthening Families Framework

We want to help children and families at First Step thrive by building protective factors into their lives.

  • We want parents to know how important they are in the lives of their children as their child’s first and most important teacher, their child’s emotional home, and their child’s best advocate and protector.
  • We want parents to understand their child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development and to gain the tools necessary to help their children grow.
  • We want parents to build strong positive social connections that will serve as a safety net around their families.
  • We want parents to be able to access the resources that they need, when they need it, to provide for their families’ needs, and
  • We want parents to build and experience resiliency in the face of trauma.

We want to prevent children and families from experiencing trauma and the effects of trauma, but if trauma is present in the lives of children and families…

  • We want to relieve and ease the effects of that trauma.
  • We want to alleviate the subsequent risks for child abuse and neglect.

The HOPE Framework

  • Positive experiences can ease toxic stress and help children and youth grow into more resilient, healthier adults. HOPE identifies ways that our communities and systems of care can better ensure that all children have more positive experiences and that all families have support to nurture and celebrate their strengths.
  • The Four Building Blocks of HOPE are composed of key positive childhood experiences (PCEs). The sources of those experiences and opportunities are the foundation for healthy childhood development.

More about HOPE

The Truth About ACEs

  • ACES are Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • The three types of ACE include Abuse, Neglect and Household Dysfunction.
  • There is a 95% likelihood that additional types of childhood trauma accompany a single ACE.
  • As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for negative health outcomes.

Learn more about the CDC ACE’s Study

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Infographic

Evidence-Based Home Visiting Logic Model

  • Parents As Teachers promotes the optimal early development, learning and health of children by supporting and engaging their parents and caregivers so that all children will grow and develop to realize their full potential.
  • Parents As Teachers assists families who are pregnant or who have children ages three and under. Parent educators help parents practice positive parenting, enhance child health and development through education, and prepare children for kindergarten.

Parents as Teachers Website

Parents as Teachers Evidence Based Home Visiting Model Infographic

What is COM?

  • The Community Opportunity Map is an interactive tool that highlights the aspects of communities that are associated with safe children and strong families.
  • COM is designed as a tool that can be utilized to inform decision-making, strategic intervention, calls to action, and stakeholder engagement to promote community health and well-being.

The Community Opportunity Map