Saying that parenting is a tough job is an understatement. After all, “jobs” are supposed to end when you clock out. And you know perfectly well that being a parent is a round-the-clock proposition, and even the best parents make mistakes and are unsure they’re always doing the right thing.
The truth is that raising people to be the best they can be is hard work. And it SHOULD be hard. It’s the most important job to be done in Nebraska communities, and as a parent, you’re in the thick of it. There’s plenty your community can do to support you to be the parent you want to be. Better still, there’s plenty that you can do to support yourself.
Protective Factors are attributes in families that increase health and well-being. All families have protective factors. You’ve probably heard of “risk factors.” Protective Factors act as a buffer against risk factors are are even more important in predicting positive outcomes for children.
If you look at any strong, healthy family, you will see the Protective Factors. When things are going well we are building the Protective Factors without thinking about it. But like many worthwhile things in life, living all of the Protective Factors takes practice. Basically, this means discovering the best ways to take care of yourself, be a strong parent, and build healthy family relationships.
Protective Factor #5: Concrete Supports
You can’t do this alone – that’s an undeniable truth of parenting. Concrete supports mean having access to goods and services that address your family’s needs. Your community provides concrete support services so that when things get tough, you have somewhere to turn for help. And everyone needs help sometimes.
What concrete supports look like
- Seeking and receiving support for food, shelter, clothing, health and other services when needed
- Knowing what services are available and how to access them
- Adequate financial security; basic needs being met
- Advocating effectively for self and child to receive necessary help
Tips for concrete supports
- Make a list of people to call or places to contact for support
- Ask the director of your child’s school to host a community resource night so you can see what your community offers
- Get to know and use the resources below
Basic needs services
The churches and community centers in your area can direct you to specific services. Local food banks and distribution services like FoodNet can provide meals, and may be able to provide a line on other services.
- ACCESSNebraska (portal to DHHS services)
- Heartland Family Services (Omaha)
- Lincoln-area services
- Lutheran Family Services
- Panhandle area services