Currently it is focused on increasing the resilience of at-risk youth by strengthening their positive connectedness to others. The Initiative trains professionals and lay caregivers working with vulnerable youth in multiple social service sector settings to recognize, map, and cultivate connectedness for these children and their families using a methodology that increases youth engagement in their own connectedness visualization process.
The Tonal Connectedness Initiative has developed a training protocol for practitioners across multiple disciplines to consider a client’s connectedness along emotional, cognitive, biological and spiritual dimensions; simply put the Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul. The Tonal Connectedness Initiative assumes that human connectedness is essential to healthy development and documents the connectedness between a child and his or her family and extra-familial relationships within this framework. The Tonal Connectedness Model is strength-based, culturally pluralistic, non-pathologizing, and comprehensible to clients and practitioners alike.
Although the model has wide application in this context the Tonal Connectedness Initiative is designed to ultimately inform and educate policymakers as they invent programs and policies for at-risk youth. The Tonal Connectedness Initiative is being launched with children in foster care; but the model is applicable to all children and adults in the education, child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice systems.