Why Paper Tigers Works- Behind the scenes with the Children’s Resilience Initiative

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Theresa Barila, Children's Resiliency Initiative, announced as plenary speaker for the 29th Annual Research & Policy Conference, March 13 - 16, 2016!

Theresa Barila, co-founder of the Children’s Resilience Initiative and longtime community mobilizer in Walla Walla, WA. will share the “back-story” to the documentary Paper Tigers, now in national screenings. Theresa will describe how a focus on common language, common agenda and the community capacity development model of the Family Policy Council, created the context, structure and support not just for Paper Tigers but for the many other untold resilience-based stories underway in Walla Walla. Newly released research showing how youth positive supports and resilience-building strategies can buffer the negative effects of ACES – even for youth with a large number of ACES- will also be reviewed.

About the plenary speaker
teri2Theresa Barila is coordinator of the Walla Walla County Community Network, part of the Washington State Community Network System. Together, this family-community-state partnership reduces expensive social problems by involving each community in finding its own unique pathway to thriving families. Building community capacity is a key element of the Network’s mission. One example of community capacity development is the creation of the Children’s Resilience Initiative to bring awareness of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences as the major determinant of adult- and public- health to the Walla Walla Valley community for practical application, with an emphasis on Resilience. This work has attracted national attention in part due to its grassroots organizational development and the focus on the hope of Resilience.

Theresa has a Masters of Science in Fisheries Management and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she migrated west in 1981 and now calls the Pacific Northwest home. Her area of expertise for 20 years with salmon and steelhead Federal recovery planning in the Snake and Columbia River system was focused on fish stress and physiology. She shifted career goals in 1998 when she resigned from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and accepted the role of Network Coordinator. She has lived in Walla Walla since 1984, and has been the Network coordinator since 1998. She has two children: a 34 year old son and a 25 year old daughter. Experiencing the world of a special needs child with Asperger’s Syndrome (Autism Spectrum) has significantly shaped Teri’s thinking on systems, education, resilience and advocacy for children.


  1. Juneteenth day 2017's avatar
    Juneteenth day 2017
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    Theresa Barila is my favourite she is nice
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