What is Strengthening Families?
Strengthening Families™ in West Virginia began long before any dollars were ever invested; however, formal efforts with dollars attached to them began in 2007 with a three-year $25,000 Innovation Grant to the Cabell County Family Resource Network (FRN) from the WV Children’s Trust Fund. Efforts on the state level involve multiple state and community partners including the WV Children’s Trust Fund, the Bureau for Children & Families, the Bureau for Public Health and Prevent Child Abuse WV. The state’s Prevention Leadership Council is overseeing implementation efforts, which depends on collaboration among administrators of West Virginia’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant initiative, Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program, early care and education, Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) grant and the statewide Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC).

Strengthening Families is a research based, cost-effective strategy to increase family stability, enhance child development and reduce child abuse and neglect. It builds six protective factors:

Parental resilience
Social connections
Knowledge of parenting and child development
Concrete support in times of need
Social and emotional competence of children
Nurturing and attachment

Through the Strengthening Families Initiative, more than thirty states are shifting policy, funding and training to help programs build these protective factors with the children and families they serve. Many states are also using the Strengthening Families approach to integrate state prevention strategies, focus on families in the child welfare system and engage parents and communities.

Nationally, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) coordinates Strengthening Families and works with more than a dozen national partner organizations to create a new vision in which communities, families, institutions, service systems and organizations:

  • focus on building protective and promotive factors
  • recognize and support parents as decision-makers and leaders
  • value the culture and unique assets of each family
  • are mutually responsible for better outcomes for children, youth and families

The Strengthening Families West Virginia logo
The Strengthening Families West Virginia logo was inspired by the West African, Adinkra Symbol for strength (in mind, body and soul), humility, wisdom and learning. The Adinkra Symbols are primarily used in Ghana by the Ashanti people.

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Strengthening Families Grant Opportunity!
TEAM for West Virginia Children is pleased to offer 2015 Strengthening Families Mini-Grants. Up to five grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded for organizations to intentionally broaden, deepen and/or sustain community-level strategies to improve family well-being and healthy child development using the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework.

The purpose of the grant opportunity is to support innovative local projects that engage new partners and/or take a community / “place-based” approach to building protective factors among families of young children (infants to age 8). With these funds we seek to promote cross-sector implementation bringing together partners from multiple sectors (early childhood, businesses, faith based communities, health providers, early intervention, mental health, etc.) that touch the lives of children and families – working toward a common purpose that strengthens the presence of Protective Factors in families.

Click here to download a Microsoft Word formatted copy of the application.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the application.

Apply today!
Application deadline is April 27, 2015.

For more information, contact:
Jeanette Rowsey
Strengthening Families WV Coordinator

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