Resilience and recovery

In the midst of trauma, loss and grief, children and families show remarkable courage, capacity to endure, hope and some way to “get through” or “cope”. Whilst there is trauma, loss, suffering and troubles that come out of adversity, there is also resilience that is seen in children, young people and families.

Here we have brought together a number of resources that explore the area of resilience and look at what helps children to be resilient at times of adversity.

Resources for practitioners

A brief review of resilience to traumatic events in children and adolescents

 359.66 KB pdf

This review discusses what resilience is and how some children may become more resilient to traumatic events than others.

Resources for families and carers

Friends supporting friends: friends helping friends during disasters

 171.23 KB pdf

During disasters like floods, fires and cyclones, lots of kids are great in supporting each other. Some friends stay in constant contact with each other from the first time they hear that the disaster is coming. Often when kids go through really scary experiences, it is their friends that are there to support them.

Supporting your child’s recovery after trauma

 467.31 KB pdf

Almost all children, young people and adults recovery after the impact of a traumatic event. Some will recover quickly in the weeks and months after the event. For others it may be longer - months or even years. To recover from the impact of a traumatic event does not mean to forget it, or get over it. It also doesn’t mean that things will be back to exactly how they were before the event.  

The strengths of children and families

 357.02 KB pdf

The strengths of children and families can help them to get through tough times. 

Other resources

About resilience

Early Childhood Australia
This webpage links to a number of resources supporting and developing resilience in young children. A good link for teachers and others working with young children. 

Building community resilience for children and families

 2.07 MB pdf

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), US
This booklet has been designed for community groups to help communities improve their capacity to respond to disasters and other traumatic events. 

Building resilience in children and youth dealing with trauma

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), US
A brief overview on the impact of trauma on children and young people and what can be done by teachers, parents and other carers to help build resilience in the face of adversity. Their website also provides many links to other resources on children and trauma.

Development and resilience

Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies (ACYS)
The ACYS provides a list of research and resources that has been published in the area of resilience and young people.

Does being optimistic help you to recover from trauma?

Trauma Recovery blogThis interesting article discusses research that has been done regarding the role that optimism and hope have in helping people to recover from trauma. It also discuses how we may go about facilitating feelings of hope or optimism.

Is resilience still a useful concept when working with children and young people?

Child Family Community Australia - AIFS
This paper discusses some of the complex issues surrounding the issue of resilience and how these can be considered in working with children and young people.

Protective factors approaches in child welfare

Child Welfare Information Gateway, US
This brief provides an overview of protective factors approaches in child maltreatment as well as examples of how they are being put into practice.

Protective factors: Enhancing resilience in young children and families

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), US
A resource that provides information on how parents, teachers and other carers can help children to develop resilience in dealing with trauma and adversity. 

Resilience Practice Framework

The Benevolent Society and Parenting Research Centre
These practice guides for a resilience-led approach is designed to help practitioners promote resilience in children and families.

Supportive relationships and active skill-building strengthen the foundations of resilience

Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, US
This working paper explains how protective factors in the social environment and responsive biological systems interact to produce resilience, and discusses strategies that promote healthy development in face of significant adversity.


Embrace the Future Resiliency Resource Centre

A website for teachers, parents and others who work with, or care for, children. Provides information about resilience and how to foster it in children.

Resilience pathways

Australian Institute of Family Studies
A list of research and articles relating to resilience. Provides links to full text articles where this is available. A great resource for people wanting to know more about young people and resilience.

Resilience Research Centre (RRC)

The RRC brings together leaders across six continents in the field of resilience research from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Their website brings together a variety of information, research and publications in the area of resilience.

ResilienceNet Virtual Library

A collection of full text publications related to the resilience of children and families in the face of adversity.