This article explores the community recovery and resilience element of “building back better” (BBB) through the perspectives and experiences of community influencers who provided psychosocial supports after the 2013 floods in southern Alberta, Canada.
The Alberta Resilient Communities (ARC) project adopted a community-based research methodology to examine the lived realities of children, youth, families and their communities postflood. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 37 community influencer participants representing a range of organizations including not-for-profit agencies, community organizations, social service agencies and government departments.
The findings were drawn from the interviews held with community influencers in flood-affected communities. Major themes include disaster response challenges, insufficient funding for long-term disaster recovery, community partnerships and collaborations and building and strengthening social capital.
Findings demonstrate the need to build better psychosocial services, supports and resources in the long term to support community recovery and resilience postdisaster for children, youth and families to “build back better” on a psychosocial level.
Local social service agencies play a key role in the capacity of children, youth and families to “build back better” postdisaster. These organizations need to be resourced and prepared to respond to psychosocial needs in the long term in order to successfully contribute to postdisaster recovery.
The findings illustrate that adopting a psychosocial framework for disaster recovery can better inform social service disaster response and long-term recovery plans consistent with the BBB framework. Implications for social service agencies and policymakers interested in fostering postdisaster community recovery and resilience, particularly with children and youth, are presented.
This work was supported by Alberta Innovates [Grant Number 20141038].
Fulton, A.E., Drolet, J., Lalani, N. and Smith, E. (2020), "Prioritizing psychosocial services for children, youth and families postdisaster", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-09-2019-0310Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited