Protective factors are strengths and supports that allow children to succeed despite risk factors (e.g. being in poverty or having parents with substance use disorder). Three key factors offered by schools protect young children and promote their resilience: 1) caring relationships, 2) high expectations and academic standards, and 3) opportunities for participation and contribution.
For children aged 5-12 years, the school's role in supporting protective factors cannot be understated. Through daily contact, schools help shape children's beliefs in their own abilities, and can help children develop and strengthen protective factors. These factors promote resilience when exposed to adverse events, and may even prevent problems from occurring in the future.