Fostering Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
The Hackett Center for Mental Health was asked by Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston to evaluate the impacts of COVID-19 on youth in the Greater Houston region, and to provide recommendations about programs to increase resiliency. The final report outlines our findings and recommendations.
At the request of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston (BGCGH), The Hackett Center reviewed documents and facilitated listening sessions with BGCGH leadership and their Blue Ribbon Panel, a group of community leaders committed to youth development and after school programming. Goals for this work were to (1) identify and co-create solutions to address inequities exacerbated by COVID-19 and (2) provide guidance on resiliency initiatives that focus on social justice, health, education, and economic development. Findings and recommendations are provided in our final report.
These youth are beautiful and bold, and we must be there for them and provide transformational opportunities.
– Blue Ribbon Panel Member
BGCGH serves more than 30,000 youth in the Greater Houston area. In recent years, Houston youth have been significantly impacted by weather events (e.g., hurricanes, freezes), the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and a heightened awareness of racial tension and inequities. In response, BGCGH created a “Blue Ribbon Panel,” convened and facilitated by The Hackett Center, to develop a strategic approach to youth resilience programming in the aftermath of COVID-19 and other adverse experiences.
The Blue Ribbon Panel identified a set of guiding principles, and decided that any strategy, program, or intervention BGCGH planned to implement should be:
- Operated through a “whole child and whole family” lens
- Culturally informed, sensitive, and responsive
- Measured and evaluated
Consistent with these guiding principles, some of our key recommendations included:
- Implement a tiered system of supports
- Extend supports and trainings to families
- Hire a full-time staff member charged with developing and stewarding community partnerships related to programming
- Perform evidence-based fidelity assessments
The final report outlines 15 recommendations to enhance BGCGH’s current programming, discusses the larger contextual issues related to youth trauma and loss, and provides a rubric for evaluating strategies.
This project was made possible through the generous support of BHP. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the 22 Blue Ribbon Panel members and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston leadership for their thoughtful and caring approach, and for offering critical insights during this process.
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