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Friday, June 19 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Protective Factors for Vulnerable Youth - Lainie Reisman, Kathleen Kufeldt, Joshua Brisson

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Protective Factors for Vulnerable Youth:

Abstract #111
 From MS13 to Al-Shabaab – Global Resiliance: What Are The Similarities and Differences Between Push/Pull and Resiliency Factors Impacting Youth in Highly Vulnerable Neighborhoods?
Presenter: Lainie Reisman Co-presenter: Gustavo Payan
This study compares the push/pull factors that drive youth to engage in violent actions, as well as the resiliency factors displayed by youth that are participating in positive youth development programs.  The paper is based upon the experience of Education Development Center in implementing youth programs worldwide.  The CYRM028 tool and focus group discussions were used to collect data in project sites in both Honduras and North East Kenya, where gang violence and extremist violence are serious threats, respectively.  
The EDC research team began this study with the hypothesis that there are significant similarities, both in terms of the push/pull factors as well as resiliency factors between youth in these two extremely divergent communities, notwithstanding that the types of violence that plague the communities are very distinct.   EDC has the rare opportunity of direct access, combined with established trust, to be able to openly discuss hot-topic issues, like violence and security, with youth in these high-risk communities that have opted to engage in self-improvement training programs, rather than affiliate with violent organizations and and is therefore meant not to identify not what drives youth to become gang members or violent extremists, but rather what are the strongest resiliency factors that youth with similar backgrounds in at-risk communities benefit from, and how these compare from one region to another.

Abstract #209
Children in Foster Care: How the Looking After Children Model Can Promote Resilience 
Presenter: Kathleen Kufeldt Co-presenter: Myrna McNitt
This presentation will follow up on the challenge posed in Professor McNitt’s paper: i.e. how do we reduce the threats to well-being experienced by children needing care and in doing so enhance resilience.  The Looking After Children model was tested and applied in two large scale research and action projects here and in Australia.  The use of this model constitutes guided practice and has emerged as an evidence based, best practice model.  Data from the projects will be presented to demonstrate how its use promotes resilience.

Abstract # 125
Fostering Resilience in High Risk Youth through Leisure and Recreation
Presenter: Joshua Brisson
In the chaotic lives of young people growing up in high risk environments there are seldom opportunities to establish a sense of freedom and self-determination. In the midst of adverse settings, however, leisure and recreation can provide meaningful experiences and a rare source of empowerment for high risk youth, who tend to lack a sense of control in their lives. These experiences also have implications for shaping one’s resilience resources, self-concept, prosocial values, prosocial relationships, and overall life satisfaction. Rooted in a social ecological understanding of resilience, this presentation reports finding from the mixed-method Pathways to Resilience study, Canada, to show how leisure and recreational activities can foster individual, social and physical ecologies that predict positive development in high risk youth.

avatar for Joshua Brisson

Joshua Brisson

Research and Evaluation Manager, Resilience Research Centre
Joshua Brisson is the Research and Evaluation Manager at the Resilience Research Centre and has been a part of the RRC team since 2012. Josh studied Sociology at the undergraduate and graduate level at Dalhousie University. While Josh’s graduate level research is in the area of... Read More →

Kathleen Kufeldt

Adjunct Professor at University of New BrunswickKathleen has worked in a children's residence, front line child protection, fostered teenagers, and has an international reputation for foster care research. Academic positions include Assistant Deanship in the Faculty of Social Work... Read More →

Lainie Reisman

Lainie Reisman has close to 20 years experience working on development projects, most recently in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Turkey and Ethiopia. Her technical background focuses on youth and violence. She is currently a Senior Youth Technical Advisor at Education Development Center... Read More →


Myrna McNitt

International Foster Care Organization & Lake Michigan College
Myrna is on the Board of the International Foster Care Organization and chairs its Training & Development Committee. She travels extensively and has earned an international reputation for the quality of her teaching and training. Work experience includes specialized foster care in... Read More →

Gustavo Payan

Project Director at EDC Gustavo Payan is a Project Director at Education Development Center (EDC) and currently overseas the METAS youth employment project in Honduras. He is originally from the northern border of Mexico.

Friday June 19, 2015 1:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Frazee Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College

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