The Strengthening Families Network is a learning community for professionals across sectors to stay on top of new research and best practices related to the protective factors. The network is funded by the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), and Illuminate Colorado has provided backbone support since 2021. Aaron Miller, Teri Haymond, and Anne Auld are the three trichairs, providing leadership to the Network’s quarterly meetings.
The Strengthening Families Network provides a space to share and learn about exciting work relating to the protective factors. Each meeting brings new speakers, presentations, rich discussion, and learning opportunities.
Since 2007, the Network has been bringing together professionals from across Colorado in a space that encourages continuous learning about the protective factors and how they show up in professionals’ work.
Currently, the Family Resource Center Association, CDEC, and Illuminate Colorado collaborate to plan meetings and develop meeting content for the Network. In February, the Strengthening Families Network heard from a 2018 Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference speaker about an update on a tool she had created. Then, in May, the group created space for connections and community building. The next meeting, on August 7th, will focus on maximizing the various spaces across Colorado where multiple systems are collaborating to support families. These are just a few examples of how the Network works to holistically strengthen professionals, from continuously building upon knowledge of the protective factors to growing social connections between colleagues. The ultimate goal is to support professionals in embedding the Protective Factors Framework into all levels of work from direct service, to team dynamics, to organizational policies, and straight into local communities.
“This is a space that feeds people in a way that is hard to come by in work environments right now.”
Says Anne Auld, Deputy Director of Illuminate Colorado.
“People can show up as themselves, learn something…it’s really a place of growth.”
The Strengthening Families Network has been such a great success that it sparked the launch of the Strengthening Colorado Families and Communities Conference (SCFCC). The SCFCC was started in 2014, takes place every two years, and is a joint collaboration across the family support continuum, from prevention and public health through restoration and child welfare with a focus on building the protective factors within organizations and communities. Look for a Save the Date for the 2024 conference coming very soon!
Illuminate Colorado believes in and is committed to building the protective factors– which is exactly what the Strengthening Families Network aims to do for professionals.
Do you work directly with families and are interested in joining the Strengthening Families Network?
Come to the next meeting and see what it’s all about.
In this space, you can grow personally and professionally around an understanding of the protective factors, how it applies to your life, and the work that you do.
The Strengthening Families Network is funded by the Colorado Department of Early Childhood.
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