University of Edinburgh

Enabling Young Deaf People to become Confident Individuals (Promoting Resilience)

Presented on Tuesday 4 June 2009

CoR Circles of resilience

Aicha Reid

A consultative planning framework for

  • Multi-agency meetings
  • Interview with child / young person – a simplified version using child-friendly language is under development
  • Three-way interviews with child / young person and key adults such as parent/ carer, teacher, social worker, health visitor

Resilience: in children can be described as the ability to 'bounce back'; to continue to grow and develop positively, despite difficult life circumstances. Research shows that this resilience is partly due to the child's individual attributes and partly to the support given by key people in the child's life - a protective environment. Looked-after children in particular have often experienced significant adversity in their lives. These can risk overwhelming the child's resilience at times, and key people involved with the child - The Team around the child - then need to work together to help the child build up their resilience.

CoR is a visual inituitive framework for exploring the risk factors and the protective factors in the child's life. This information is then combined in order to develop an action plan for increasing the child's resilience.

CoR is based on the work by Daniel and Wassell (2002) who identified six key aspects ('domains') of resilience.

  1. secure base (positive first attachment relationships)
  2. education (attainment and motivation in learning)
  3. friendships (positive peer relationships and social support)
  4. talents and interests (feelings of self-efficacy leading to self-esteem)
  5. positive values (caring about and helping others - pro-social behaviour)
  6. social competencies (including autonomy and self-control)

Each domain in the child's life is explored in order to identify vulnerabilities and adversities which may pose risks, and the protective factors which can build resilience.

Directions for use:

CoR has four strands: 1. The place where I live (sense of security); 2. Education / employment and training; 3. Friendships, talents and interest; 4. Positive values and social skills (right and wrong). Select some or all of the four strands, based on individual knowledge of the child / young person, and on the purpose of the interview. Using the full TRAC will give a holistic overview in some cases, however, a more focused approach may be useful, selecting the area of main risk (eg; education, for a child who is frequently excluded from school) and the area of strongest protective factors (eg; friendships, talents and interests if the child is good at a team sport or hobby)
Be aware of the potential for distress or disclosure when interviewing a child / young person; think through in advance how to ensure there will be follow-through support.


  • Fill in names of significant people on my key people (you may find it helpful to keep this in view throughout the interview).
  • Have a conversation around the four questions in each of the four strands, recording notes as you go. Choosing some of the suggested Discussion Prompts may foster a richer discussion. Not all questions will give rise to useful discussion - you can record 'don't know' or leave some parts blank. Prompts should be used selectively and re-phrased as necessary to match the child / young person's understanding of circumstances.
  • The review the completed notes, writing any Risk factors and Protective factors in the boxes at the bottom of the page. Not all strands will give rise to Risk or Protective factors.
  • In the Summary page, select the most current Risk factor and choose some useful Protective factors from any of the four strads, which may help reduce the risk. The Summary page may be printed and given to the child / young person to keep as their record of the interview, if appropriate.


Collaboratively, using a 'multi-agency team' approach, devise an Action Plan based on the above. This may require a follow-up meeting if the interview was carried out with the child / young person, rather than with the Team around the child.

This can be recorded manually on the paper version of CoR or on-screen in the electronic version.

Case Study using TRAC in school


Josie is 14. She is currently living with her father and his partner and their two young children. Her mother, who also has a young family with a different partner, say that Josie has always been 'impossible' to manage. She refuses to have her living with her because she says she is a bad influence on her younger children. Josie has lived at various times with her mother, her father and her maternal grandparents. This last arrangement broke down after her grandfather was accused of hitting her. Josie visits her mother's house every day and seems desperate to be included in that family.

At school, Josie is known to be academically able but frequent exclusions for disruptive behaviour mean she is not achieving her potential. She seeks the attention of her peers all the time and either ignores or is cheeky to staff. Her personality is powerful and controlling of others; her peers try to 'keep on her right side' rather than developing friendships with her.

Offences in the community are escalating; currently there are multiple charges against her for assault and vandalism. These offences were carried out when she was in the company of other well-known offenders, both after school and during periods of exclusion.

CoR two-stage process

Professionals working with Josie felt sure that the root of her risk-taking behaviour lay in her feelings of rejection and frequent changes in family placement. To increase her coping skills in dealing with her problems and to help formulate a practical, focused action plan with her engagement and agreement, the Educational Psychologist used a CoR interview to frame a planning discussion with Josie and the Pupil Support manager, who had a strong relationship with her (this could also have been done by the PSM or any other staff member with a good working relationship).

On her 'My People' sheet, Josie and her key worker identified only the most significant people in her life - her dad at home, her mum and other family members along with her best friend and then Community Centre staff. (Note that her aunt, her best friend and her mother were selected for helping in the Action Plan targets at the end.) The most crucial risk factor was being sent to a local YPC if her father felt she was out of his control or even to a Secure Unit. Protective (positive) factors had been identified from discussion around all 4 strands in terms of personal qualities, helpful relationships, her own motivation to remain in her school and academic ability. The targets were drawn from her own skills and interests and agreed by her. The Action Plan itself was drawn up at a subsequent Team around the Child meetingattended by those professionals who would be involved in helping Josie with her targets. Her father and aunt attended this meeting to ensure family support.

summary sheet

action plan

My Key People

  1. Child or young person’s name.
  2. Other people in child’s / person’s home (eg; parents, siblings, parent’s partner, step-sibling)
  3. Other important people (eg; family, school, health, neighbours)
  4. Other important people in the community (sport, youth, church, leisure)

my key people

the place where I live


positive values and social skills

positive values and social skills