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Title:Mobilizing Community and Family Resilience Across Illinois
Author(s):Cordova, Teresa; Weine, Stevan
Subject(s):resilience, impact, family, policy, community, mobilizing
Abstract:To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and alleviate the pressure on medical resources, state and local governments in Illinois mandated measures of social distancing, including sheltering at home. While necessary during a pandemic, these measures have the potential to undermine the very essential social and family ties that individuals depend upon on during moments of crisis. Prior experiences with disasters teach us that the distress people experience will be due both to the pandemic itself and to the losses of communality and support that result from these disruptions. Because of persistent and widespread racial inequities and residential segregation,2 the pandemic will likely impact communities unevenly, resulting in families and communities of color, including undocumented persons, being among the hardest hit. Mobilizing community and family resilience can help promote positive coping for all, and prevent adverse health and mental health outcomes, especially for the most vulnerable. Community resilience is the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations. This brief describes four primary sets of resources that underlie community resilience: Economic development (the level of resources, their diversity, and equity); Social capital (social support, participation, bonds, roots, and commitment); Information and communication (trusted information sources and positive narratives); and Community competence (collective action and decision-making skills, collective efficacy, and empowerment). Access to some versions of these resources are critical during a disaster. To mitigate against potential negative outcomes during the response and recovery phases over the next nine months, the primary recommendation of this brief is that Illinois rapidly launch a new Resilient Illinois Initiative that provides targeted training and support to communities and families. This initiative will build and strengthen their resilience for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be achieved through a public-private collaborative effort funded by the state, led by a community-based organization with support from university researchers, which will engage a network of community-based organizations so as to reach communities and families throughout Illinois.
Issue Date:2020-04-16
Publisher:Institute of Government & Public Affairs
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-08-04

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