In Focus: Family Resilience

In Focus: Family Resilience
14 Aug 2015

Many families successfully cope with difficult situations, but some do not. ‘Family resilience’ explains how families draw on protective resources to adapt to the risks they face. This paper focuses on the concept of ‘family resilience’.

The evidence presented in the In Focus: Family resilience paper shows that identifying critical times for families and then intervening early and equipping them are important, for example during the transition to parenthood.

The report highlights the opportunity for a cross-sector government approach to support vulnerable families to build resilience.

In Focus: Family resilience also notes that international programmes aiming to build family resilience and strengthen families’ protective factors are being implemented with emerging evidence of effectiveness.


This paper looks at the capacity of families to respond and adapt as situations arise. Rather than focusing on particular risks or adversities that some families face, or the outcomes that these risks may lead to, it combines resilience and family-level approaches to deepen our understanding of family  resilience. A resilience approach involves exploring the protective factors and resources that enable families to adapt when faced with adversity.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018