Tutors of resilience supporting traumatised children

“Resilience is the capacity proper to each human being to cope with difficult life experiences and overcome them. Resilience allows a new growth, a new stage of life in which the wound remains present, but it becomes part of this new life to another level of depth.” (Stefan Vanistendael, Head of BICE R&D from 1979 to 2016)

Putting resilience at the heart of BICE commitment

BICE is convinced that resilience is essential when supporting vulnerable children. Children victims of violence, abused children, children displaced by conflicts or natural disasters or children in conflict with the law, all are able to find within themselves the necessary resources to heal their visible and invisible wounds.

But we must help them. Many psycho-social studies have shown that it is possible to isolate, for specific groups, protection and risk factors which could strengthen or weaken resilience.
As Stefan Vanistendael noted, “The (resilience) capacity is neither fixed nor absolute, but it is built up through a process of interactions with others. It is not about denying the problems but being taught how to overcome them.”. This is the role of BICE “Tutors of Resilience” trainings.

A 30-year reflection on resilience

Since the 1980s, resilience has been at the core of BICE reflection. Indeed, the resilience capacity of each child must be recognised, valued, and promoted.

This conviction is based on an extensive in-house research work and the contributions of experts working with BICE. These conceptual reflections and the developed methods are compiled in publications which have been published in several languages. They are primarily intended for members of BICE network, but they are also available for other professionals working with children.

Interviews also allow specialists to bring their experience and knowledge.

BICE trains tutors of resilience

In response to its network constant demand for further deepening the resilience approach, BICE developed “Tutors of Resilience” trainings with the scientific contribution of its partner, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan (UCSC).

This programme aims at supporting the action and enriching the reflection of professionals working with vulnerable children: educators, psychologists, social workers, etc. Its objective is three-fold:

  • Providing the beneficiaries of the training with the necessary tools to facilitate children’s resilience. The expected results for the children are: 1) their psychological well-being; 2) the strengthening of their identity and other internal resources; 3) the consolidation of their external resources: groups, peers, and families.
  • Promoting the well-being of people in direct contact with particularly complicated psycho-social realities. Thanks to its open, positive, and creative approach, resilience allows to fight against demotivation, tensions, and the risk of burn-out of team members.
  • Strengthening the relationships between the different organisations which participate in the trainings and, in so doing, enliven BICE network.

Trainings from 3 to 5 days are provided to groups of professionals of BICE network who work with children in vulnerable situations. Sessions are adapted to the specific context (conditions of the children involved, cultural factors, etc.). Follow-ups are conducted for their implementation on the ground with children.

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