The Communities Advancing Resilience Toolkit (CART) is a theory-based community intervention designed to improve community resilience through assessment, education, empowerment, teamwork, and action. CART provides mechanisms to: (1) systematically assess a community with respect to disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; (2) understand the resilience of the community; and (3) identify and implement actions to improve community resilience.
The CART Assessment Survey
The CART Assessment Survey generates a community profile and can document changes in participant perceptions over time or after an adversity or intervention. The survey includes 27 core community resilience items as well as demographic items and items specific to each community and its issues. CART Surveys are conducted as part of the CART Intervention process to stimulate dialogue, help focus CART Teams, and track community changes over time. Eleven major TDC CART Survey applications with over 6000 respondents have generated a database to provide insight into correlates of community resilience.
The CART Intervention
The CART Intervention, a trauma-informed group intervention, uses community-focused activities to build individual coping skills and enhance individual and community resilience. The CART Intervention is strengths based and grounded in solution-focused, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, empowerment, and positive youth development theories. As part of the CART process, group participants identify traumatic community events or issues, share and process their personal experiences, and create a community narrative. Guided by principles of agile management and teamwork, CART emphasizes relationships and social networks and uses a difference reduction approach to help community members formulate and complete actions to promote community resilience. This process provides opportunities and motivation for prosocial involvement; enhances interpersonal relationships; teaches and encourages teamwork and collaboration; promotes individual and group initiative and agency; enhances communication skills, social-emotional skills, coping, and resilience; facilitates connection to networks and systems of care; introduces terminology and principles of disaster mental health; and teaches critical reflection and problem solving to confront personal and social challenges.
TDC is developing and testing CART materials specifically designed for youth groups while continuing to work with adult groups.