“Resilience” is the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress (American Psychological Association). Fostering and building resilience among children is the focus of the Partnership for Resilience, a growing array of education, health and civic institutions.

Partnership for Resilience’s vision is:

To transform and integrate education, health care and community organizations to create a trauma-informed, family-focused system that measurably improves academic, health, and social outcomes for children.

To accomplish this vision, the Partnership

  1. Builds sustainable community partnerships;
  2. Creates resources, training and education programs; and
  3. Advocates for research-based polices that further its mission.

These priorities grew out of the Partnership’s first year of operation as the Southland Education and Health Initiative. It is clear there is value in building, supporting and expanding inter-professional partnerships between educators, counselors, and health care professionals. Each has something to learn and something to teach.

It is also clear that schools have tremendous potential to serve as “community hubs” that can support and be supported by their communities. Harvard’s Paul Reville has argued that for schools to be effective in the 21st century “health, mental health and human services must be comprehensive, braided with educational services and designed to support students so they are able to supply their best effort when in school.”

Finally, the Partnership for Resilience’s leaders believe that being firmly rooted in “on the ground experience” can help shape and inform a robust policy agenda and lead to practical and effective outreach and training.