Strengthening Families at The Peppermint Tree

April 10th, 2011 by Valerie Frost-Lewis

We are proud to be a “Strengthening Families” Center. We provide resources, family friendly activities, information and support to our community of families.  We are one of only eight centers in Ocean County that are participating in this national program.  Here is a bit of background on this program:

Strengthening Families Through Early Care and Education (SFECE) originating in 2003 by The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), Washington, D.C. with the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, conducted extensive research of early care and education programs across the country. This documented for the first time the link between early childhood programs and the reduction of child abuse and neglect. This research indicates that the following five protective factors reduce the incidence of child maltreatment: Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Concrete Support in Times of Need, and Social and Emotional Competence of Children. The protective factors are the foundation of the program that provide tools and strategies for early childhood professionals to work collaboratively with families in the community where they live, work and play. (

This program provides our staff  with specialized training to help us provide services to our community of families that promote the five protective factors that have been proven to strengthen families and reduce child abuse and neglect.

I would like to thank our volunteer parents and staff, who work together on Strengthening Families programs ( like our recent Family Game Night and our Workshop on Child Discipline) which make Peppermint Tree a warm and nurturing community for all of us.

Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed.


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