Early Childhood Intervention: Module Two – Special Needs & Conditions

Children with Environmental Risk Conditions

Risk factors are well documented and include poverty, abuse, neglect, violence and many others.  A child exposed to these environmental risk conditions is impacted on many levels. There is a higher risk for this child to experience trauma and the degree, severity and duration of such traumatic experiences may have lasting implications. The impact of environmental risk conditions on a child’s development is complicated issue. We must look at both the risk (see full Glossary) and the protective factors (see full Glossary) for the child to better understand the impact of environmental risk conditions.

Family Protective Factors1

These are factors that include family environment and social networks that protect, or buffer, the child from maltreatment. Examples may include:

  • Nurturing parenting skills;
  • Stable family relationships;
  • Household rules and child monitoring;
  • Parental employment;
  • Adequate housing;
  • Access to health care and social services;
  • Caring adults outside the family who can serve as role models or mentors.

Community Protective Factors

These are factors within the child and family’s communities that support parents and take responsibility for preventing abuse.

1 Source: Violence prevention / Child maltreatment

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