Building communities of care
Linda Liebenberg and Vanessa Scherman are heading up this WERA International Research Network, exploring how schools can build communities of care. As a constant resource in the lives of children, our question is: how can schools meaningfully re-establish communities of care, facilitating better outcomes for children? To do this we are conducting a knowledge synthesis to establish investigate how schools can successfully: 1) restructure their services to shift attention from individualised mandates to one of community development; 2) collaborate with other services; and 3) enhanced community resilience. A core component of this work is the review of existing measures of community resilience.
Strengthening community resilience: Creating culturally relevant support resources for youth
Pat Dolan and Linda Liebenberg are working to bring together lessons from 1) a service provider in rural Nova Scotia regarding effective community resilience development, 2) findings of a knowledge synthesis on the ways in which schools can facilitate such community development, and 3) research expertise in Ireland regarding the development of empathy in school contexts, to develop a practice-based guide that schools can use to meaningfully re-establish the social threads that underpin functional and safe communities, supporting better educational and psychosocial outcomes for young people. Included in the guidelines is a specific focus on developing empathy in children and youth by drawing on social networks and embedded opportunities to contribute.