Training to Strengthen Families

Whether you are looking to strengthen families in your work or in your community, Illuminate Colorado can support you. 

Featured Trainings



Smart Choices Safe Kids Conversation Guide for Professionals on Substance Use, Children & Families

The Smart Choices Safe Kids Conversation Guide Conversation Guide for Professionals on Substance Use, Children & Families is a tool for professionals to provide direction on strengths-based conversations with families on substances and substance use, including sections on safe storage, safe and engaged caregiving and the Strengthening Families Protective Factors.

This virtual 4-hr training includes video vignettes, interactive activities and opportunities to practice universal, transparent conversations about safety. Training participants will receive safe-storage bags and family handouts in English and Spanish as well as a copy of this Smart Conversation Guide. 

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Course Details

This training for family strengthening and child maltreatment prevention professionals working in governmental and community-based organizations in early childhood, public health, home visitation and family support programs supports professionals in starting and continuing their conversations with families to strengthen child and family well-being. 

Training addresses the proper utilization of the Smart Choices Safe Kids Conversation Guide and explores stigma, bias, boundaries, screening tools and resource/referral options.

Following the training, participants will have access to all course materials and ongoing consultation with Illuminate Colorado.


Youth Thrive

 Youth ThriveTM helps anyone who has contact with young people ages 11-26  apply new knowledge of adolescence to their interactions with youth.

This training teaches anyone who is concerned about teenagers and young adults a new  approach, developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), that uses the latest science to identify protective and promotive factors known to increase the likelihood that adolescents can develop into healthy, thriving adults.

Relevant to everyone who works with young people including: public system administrators, supervisors and caseworkers in child welfare, juvenile justice, homeless or mental health agencies, judges and legal advocates, staff at private agencies and nonprofits youth-serving organizations, educators, parents, caregivers, law enforcement and others.

The Youth Thrive training organized into seven modules, delivered over 3-4 days, includes:
– Context and information on current ideas, best practices and trends in adolescent development.
– Activities that allow participants to experience and explore the use of new concepts.
– Reflective exercises to think through how to integrate new ideas into existing programs
and practices.

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Course Details

Youth Thrive is a framework that functions as a ‘lens’ for assessing current efforts and for making changes to the policies, programs, training, services, partnerships, and systems that impact young people.

CSSP reviewed and synthesized extensive research on positive youth development, resilience, neuroscience and brain development, stress and the impact of trauma to identify and define these five protective and promotive factors:

Resilience: Managing stress and functioning well when faced with challenges.

Social Connections: Having healthy, lasting relationships with people, places, and communities.

Knowledge of Adolescent Development: Understanding the unique changes and assets of adolescence; implementing youth-friendly policies and practices.

Concrete Support in Times of Need: Making sure youth receive high-quality, equitable, respectful services to meet basic needs (e.g., physical & mental health care, housing, legal services, education, nutrition, income); learning self-advocacy or leadership skills.

Cognitive and Social-Emotional Competence: Acquiring communication and thinking skills and attitudes to form an interdependent and positive identity.

The overarching goal of the Youth Thrive framework is to achieve positive outcomes by mitigating risk and enhancing healthy development and well-being of young people. Illuminate supports and coordinates with youth-serving programs across Colorado with technical assistance and mini-grant funding that can be used to support trainer time, child care, food and materials, when available, to promote the Protective Factors in the community. 


Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work

Strengthening Families™ is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. It is based on engaging families, programs and communities in building five key protective factors

Created by the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance, this seven course training empowers community members to move from knowledge to action in the community after an in-depth exploration of the Five Protective Factors

    • Parental Resilience
    • Social Connection
    • Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
    • Concrete Support in Times of Need
    • Children’s Social and Emotional Competence.

Course Details

The Strengthening Families™ approach and protective factors framework was introduced in 2003 by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funded the original research with CSSP and also funded the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance to engage its network of children’s trust and prevention funds to demonstrate unique and innovative ways to implement the protective factors framework.

This Alliance Training of Trainers curriculum, Bringing the Protective Factors Framework To Life In Your Work, provides experienced trainers with an array of resources for in-person and virtual delivery, with activities and materials to meet diverse training needs and enhance adult learning experiences. The multi-day training offers networking and learning opportunities with other qualified trainers. 

As the state intermediary for Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work, Illuminate supports and coordinates the more than 60 certified trainers across Colorado with technical assistance and mini-grant funding that can be used to support trainer time, child care, food and materials, when available, to promote the Protective Factors in the community. 

Bringing the Protective Factors Framework to Life in Your Work Online Curriculum  

Introduction/Strengthening Families™ 101

  • Background information on the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors approach
  • Introduction of the protective factors framework
  • Strength-based work with families
  • Introduction of the Strengthening Families™ Protective Factors Framework Self-Assessment
  • Appropriate as a stand-alone orientation to the framework

The Five Protective Factors Courses

  • Purpose and learning objectives for each course
  • Definition and explanation of the protective factor
  • Definition and explanation of program strategy (or strategies) and everyday actions
  • Quizzes, activities and reflective questions
  • Real-life parent stories, documenting the power of building protective factors
  • Engaging mix of written text, video and audio examples
  • Individualized Action Plan (IAP) work
  • A direct link in the Websites and Resources section to the Strengthening Families™ Self-Assessment for that protective factor

Moving from Knowledge to Action

  • Recap of the curriculum, using the logic model as a visual summary
  • Introduction to the systems concepts of the Strengthening Families™ “Core Functions” and their ability to impact change at a systems level
  • Review of the user’s portfolio and Individualized Action Plan (IAP)
  • Add user reflections and update the IAP to reflect progress made while completing the curriculum

Learn more and sign up today!


Help Strengthen Families & Communities

We all share a responsibility to ensure that children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. 


Learn About Our Work

Our children are our future employees, leaders and neighbors. No matter where they live, children need high-quality experiences and loving relationships to support healthy development.

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