Fostering Resiliency

We follow a model for building resiliency in our youth that draws on our values and principles that we live by every day at Covenant House.

The model was developed by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania and an adolescent medicine specialist. His evidence-based model has given our staff specific tools to manage the relationships with our youth in a concise and consistent manner.

Youth need the adults in their lives to believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations. Adults are in a position of trust and need to help youth develop the resiliency skills required to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Dr. Ginsburg explains that resiliency, or the ability to overcome challenges, is something that is strengthened when kids are loved and supported. Our kids have had their resilience abilities undermined by the trauma they have experienced, usually through abuse or neglect.

Dr. Ginsburg has given us the “Seven Cs” of resiliency for guidance.


Kids need to recognize their strengths, so they can develop the confidence to find their place in the world, think creatively and recover from setbacks.


When we notice what young people are doing well and we give them opportunities to develop skills, they feel competent. When we don't allow them to recover from mistakes themselves, we undermine their sense of competence.


Feeling connected is the single most important factor in overcoming challenges. Other people, schools and community groups give youth the validation and confidence to pursue their goals.


Kids need clear guidance on right and wrong. They must learn to live with integrity.


When youth contribute to the well-being of others, they receive gratitude instead of condemnation. Kids discover that it feels good to contribute to others and they are more likely to ask for help without fear or shame.


Young people who have developed a range of healthy coping skills will not turn to higher risk “quick fixes” like drugs or self-harm.


When youth understand that privileges and freedom gradually increase as they demonstrate responsibility, they learn to make better choices.

Learn more about our work

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Helping Street Kids

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