Building a Case for Child and Youth Belonging: Insights from the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region, CYPT Waterloo (2021)
Waterloo’s Children and Youth Planning Table has created an invaluable resource on belonging that is relevant to any community or organization seeking to understand and foster young peoples’ sense of belonging and connection. “The central idea is that belonging is feeling positively about one’s place within a supportive, beneficial system that extends beyond our individual selves. A sense of belonging goes beyond fulfilling minimal needs for social connection, and it goes beyond perceived social support(s). Instead, belonging encompasses a more wholistic approach and, therefore, should be recognized for its overarching implication across other areas of a person’s well-being.” While this resource does not distinguish between different types of belonging, as is done in Skye’s Legacy, it does describe factors that positively and negatively impact belonging and the consequences of belonging and unbelonging. Waterloo’s collective impact work has defined three “pillars” of belonging including equity, attachment and children and youth feeling heard and seen.
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