Kentucky Family Thrive

The overarching goal of the Family Thrive framework is to achieve positive outcomes by mitigating risk and enhancing the healthy development and well-being of children and youth. The guiding premises provide the foundation for Kentucky Strengthening Families (KYSF) and Kentucky Youth Thrive (KYYT). This approach can be used in any setting serving families, youth and children typically without making huge changes in daily practice.

Kentucky Family Thrive represents a multi-disciplinary partnership of over 20 national, state and local, and public and private organizations dedicated to embedding six research-based Protective Factors into services and supports for children and their families. Supporting families is a key strategy for promoting school readiness and preventing child abuse and neglect. All families experience times of stress, and research demonstrates that children grow and learn best in families who have the supports and skills to deal with those times. By supporting families and building their skills to cope with stressors, we can increase school readiness and reduce the likelihood of abuse will occur in families. Kentucky Strengthening Families is using a nationally recognized strategy—Strengthening Families: A Protective Factors Framework – which is coordinated by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

If you are interested in attending a training or a training of trainers then please contact Kristen Martin or Emily Keely at and


All Kentucky Children are healthy, safe and prepared to succeed in school and in life through families that are supported and strengthened within their communities.


Enhancing protective factors that reduce the impact of adversity and increase the well-being of children and families through family, community, and state partnerships.

Key Aspects of Kentucky’s Work

In Kentucky Family Thrive, we have a shared commitment to:

  • Promoting strong families and healthy development for families prenatally through adolescents 
  • Partnering with all families and celebrating differences
  • Using protective factors as a strengths-based philosophy to buffer for toxic stress
  • Building knowledge and skills for individual and system change
  • Creating safe, stable, and nurturing environments for people to have responsive and caring relationships

The Governor’s Office for Early Childhood (GOEC) was the funder through the Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge Grant Program and the Kentucky Department for Public Health through the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Grant Program.

A Framework for Supporting Kentucky's Families

Mobilizing partners, communities and families to build family strengths, promote optimal development, increase school readiness, and reduce child abuse and neglect.

Families that can cope with the stresses of everyday life, as well as the occasional crisis, find strength and bounce back when life gets difficult. Sometimes, it takes a little extra help to get through challenges like having a car break down, managing your child’s difficult behavior or dealing with a health condition. Families who have support from friends or know where to go for help can bounce back and model behavior for their children.