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Protective Factors Survey

What is the Protective Factors Survey (PFS)?

The PFS is a pre-post evaluation tool for use with caregivers receiving child maltreatment prevention services. It is a self-administered survey that measures protective factors in five areas: family functioning/resiliency, social support, concrete support, nurturing and attachment, and knowledge of parenting/child development. A one-page overview of the tool can be viewed here.

How was the PFS developed?

The PFS is a product of the FRIENDS National Resource Center in collaboration with the University of Kansas Institute for Educational Research and Public Service. It was developed with the advice and assistance from CBCAP grantees, parents, researchers, administrators, workers, and experts specializing in family support, child maltreatment, and psychological measurement. The survey has undergone four national field tests for establishing reliability and validity. To view a report on the early field tests and examine reliability and validity data, click here. The most recent, phase IV field test, can be viewed by clicking here.

Is the PFS an evidence-based measurement tool?

Yes, the California Clearinghouse on Evidence Based Practices (http://www.cebc4cw.org) has included the PFS as an evidence-based tool in their listings.

Would the PFS be an appropriate tool for use in my program?

Before making a decision as to whether or not the PFS is the right tool for measuring your program's outcomes, please review the Checklist for Using the PFS .

How is the PFS used?

The primary purpose of the Protective Factors Survey is to provide feedback to agencies for continuous quality improvement and evaluation purposes. The survey results are designed to help agencies measure changes in protective factors and identify areas where workers can focus on increasing individual family protective factors. A full set of instructions on how to administer the PFS can be found by clicking here or you can reference our revised FAQ here.

Does a database accompany the PFS?

Yes, a new and upgraded version of the original PFS Database can be downloaded from this site.  Please open and read the Database Version 2 Readme and Security Warnings documents before downloading.  The original version is also available below.

How does the PFS Database version 2 different from the original version?

The PFS Database version 2 fixed a data importing glitch.  The original database did not update existing records when importing data and the new version does.  Version 2 also enables the user to enter data on their own program specific items and to tailor some of the demographics tables.  It will also prepare data for conducting t-tests, produce reports on individual families, and sort data according to percentage of services received and program completion.

Users can easily transfer data from the original database version (version 1) into Version 2.  It is critical to follow the instructions in the Database Version 2 Readme before attempting this procedure.  Data generated in the original database (version 1) can be uploaded into Version 2 seamlessly.

Is there a retrospective pre-test version of the PFS?

No. More testing is needed to validate the retrospective version of the tool. Although the existing database has fields for entering retrospective data, the actual survey will not be released until it is found to be valid and reliable.

Protective Factors Survey Resources

icon Protective Factors Survey (revised 6-2012)
icon Protective Factors Survey Overview
icon PFS User Manual (revised 1-2013)
icon Protective Factors Survey Field Test Report
icon Protective Factors Survey Phase 4 summary slides
icon FAQ (revised 6-2012)

Click here to view the available PFS Database resources available for download.