Promoting Resilience after Natural Disasters

From hurricanes to tornadoes to wildfires, many children and families are coping with the trauma of natural disasters and struggling to overcome their aftereffects. Head Start can provide support and care for those impacted while also promoting resilience for families and children.

Tools to Build Resilience

Protective factors can help children bounce back from the trauma of natural disasters and offer hope in times of trouble. It is important to ensure all children have the protective factors they need when faced with a traumatic event. Three key protective factors for children are: attachments and relationships, initiative, and self-regulation.

We can help to build these protective factors by doing things like: making time just for play, naming and discussing feelings with children, and fostering close relationships. The Devereux Early Childhood Assessments tools and resources to help support the healthy social and emotional development and resilience of Head Start children and families. These nationally standardized, reliable, and valid assessments help to build and strengthen protective factors in early childhood.

Traumatic experiences impact children and their families but also the caregivers, teachers, and staff who support them. Supporting children who have experienced trauma takes a toll. It can be hard to know how best to respond while also being mindful of your own resilience and well-being.

  • The Devereux Adult Resilience Survey can give parents and caregivers the opportunity to become aware of personal strengths and areas of need. This survey can be used to help adults build on certain strengths and better cope with stresses or traumatic experiences.
  • The Devereux Resilient Leadership Survey can help Head Start teachers and leaders to reflect on behaviors associated with resilient leadership. This survey can provide insightful information on areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

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