Planning to foster resilience

When the home life of a child is disrupted by abuse or neglect, child care professionals pay considerable attention to issues of attachment and placement. They may look to supporting the child to continue live at home, or to the provision of an appropriate alternative home life. Whatever the arrangements for the day–to–day care of such children, attention should also be paid to fostering their resilience.

Because resilience in child care is associated with better long–term outcomes, it can be used as a guiding principle when planning for children whose lives have been disrupted. As Gilligan (1997) has stated:

"Resilience – the capacity to transcend adversity – may be seen as the essential quality which care planning and provision should seek to stimulate as a key outcome of the care offered." (p.14)

It may not always be possible to protect children from further adversity. And it may not always be possible to provide an ideal environment for them. However, fostering and boosting resilience should enhance the likelihood of a better long–term outcome.