Contextual and Cultural Aspects of Resilience in Child Welfare Settings
This chapter explores the concept of resilience as it relates to children under child welfare mandates. The author argues that resilience is an outcome related to the opportunities children find to access the psychological, emotional, relational, and instrumental supports they need to thrive, and that child welfare interventions help to create the conditions for positive development through planned systemic intervention. Three points will be made: first, outcomes associated with resilience are culturally-embedded; second, culture and context determine the nature of the interventions offered to a child in need of protection; and third, children who survive make do with whatever they have available that they perceive useful to sustaining themselves. Thus, children may display hidden resilience, employing survival strategies that are culturally and contextually relevant, but unintelligible to those mandated to care for them.