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World expert on youth resilience in New Zealand

Barnardos New Zealand

Media release

11 November 2008

World expert on youth resilience in New Zealand

The Canadian academic, social worker and marriage and family therapist, Professor Michael Ungar[1], is in New Zealand to give a series of presentations on youth resilience for policy makers, social workers and researchers.

Professor Ungar describes resilience as "both an individual's capacity to navigate to health resources and a condition of the individual's family, community and culture to provide those resources in culturally meaningful ways. Understood this way, resilience requires that individuals and communities be supported in the development of their capacity to find resources that bolster well-being in a way that they value".[2]

"We are very pleased to have Professor Ungar in New Zealand. He has great experience working directly with youth and families in child welfare, mental health, educational and correctional settings. He is a world expert on resilience-related themes relevant to the treatment and study of at-risk youth and families", says Murray Edridge, Chief Executive of Barnardos New Zealand.

The following presentations are open to the public and will take place in the following places around the country:

* 13 November, Playing at Being Bad: The Hidden Strengths of Troubled Children and Teens, 2-3pm, Highbury Whanau Centre, Highbury Avenue, Palmerston North * 17 November, topic TBC, 1-3pm, Room TT1.05 School of Education, University of Waikato (Gate 4, Hilcrest Road, Hamilton) * 20 November, Playing at Being Bad: The Hidden Strengths of Troubled Children and Teens, Youthline Auckland, 2-4pm, 13 Maidstone Street, Ponsonby Auckland (RSVP to jaynel@youthline.co.nz) * 24 November, Hidden Resilience among Children and Families: Research and Policy Implications 2-3pm, Auditorium, Level 3 Ministry of Social Development, Bowen State Building Wellington (RSVP to mydinfo@myd.govt.nz)

* 26 November, Playing at Being Bad: The Hidden Strengths of Troubled Children and Teens, 10am-12pm, Salvation Army Citadel,, Colombo St, Christchurch (RSVP to shane.murdoch@barnardos.org.nz) * 28 November, Playing at Being Bad: The Hidden Strengths of Troubled Children and Teens, 10.10-11.10, St Margaret's College, University of Otago

Professor Ungar will also hold presentations aimed at parents, discussing ways to offer our children and teenagers the right amount of risk and responsibility, to help them prepare for challenges in adulthood. The presentation for parents, Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Children and Teens Thrive, will take place in:

Auckland Thursday 20 November, 7pm Western Springs College library, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs (behind zoo). Tickets $10, available from Western Springs College office or at the door. Contact: PAG@westernsprings.school.nz Books available for sale on the night. In association with Whitcoulls and Allen & Unwin.

Christchurch Tuesday 25 November, 7pm St Margaret's College chapel, 12 Winchester St, Merivale, Christchurch Gold coin donation on door (proceeds going to charity). Books available for sale on the night. In association with Paper Plus Ferrymead and Allen & Unwin.

Dunedin Thursday 27 November, 6pm Dunningham Suite, 4th Floor, Dunedin Public Library Free admission. Books available for sale on the night. In association with UBS, Dunedin Public Library and Allen & Unwin.

Professor Ungar's visit to New Zealand is funded by Barnardos New Zealand, Massey University and Social Policy Evaluation and Research (SPEAR). ENDS [1] Michael Ungar, Ph.D. is a University Research Professor and Professor of Social Work, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on youth resilience. He is also the author of seven books including: Too Safe for their Own Good: How risk and responsibility help teens thrive; Strengths-based Counselling with At-risk Youth; and the Handbook for Working with Children and Youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and contexts. Since 2002, Michael has been the Principal Investigator for the Resilience Research Centre, directing studies of resilience that includes researchers from more than a dozen countries on six continents.

[1] www.resilienceresearch.org

For more information contact Carmen Payne Research and Practice Development Coordinator Barnardos New Zealand Phone (04) 385 5681


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