Caring and Supportive Relationships

Relationships that are reciprocal, caring, respectful and participatory promote resilience in individuals.  Research shows that experience of these types of relationships in childhood, particularly with a significant adult outside of the immediate family, lays the foundation for the development of trust, autonomy and initiative in adult life.  Research also shows that we are not limited by our past experiences.  With the appropriate type of relationship it is possible for adults to develop trust, autonomy and initiative regardless of whether they experienced these types of relationships as children or not.

In the community context these relationships encourage a sense of bonding and connectedness between community members.  They facilitate a desire for participation and provide a source of support and nurturance for individuals and family or social/age groupings.  Relationships such as these also facilitate a community’s capacity to devise and enact processes, policies and strategies for disaster prevention and mitigation, preparedness and response.

In the workplace context such relationships encourage a sense of bonding and connectedness between employees.  They also allow for the development of a work culture that focuses on working together, willingness to “go the extra mile” and a generally happier and more stable workforce.