RISE Module 6: 
Connection & Belonging

This Module is the second of four focused on the element Indicators of Wellbeing(I) within the RISE framework. The Indicators of Wellbeing are defined as the conditions for fostering a sense of psychological wellness and resilience. This learning module covers the indicator of Connection & Belonging.

Participants learn how inviting inclusion, collaboration, and cooperation are the key pathways to cultivate a sense of connection and belonging within their role as a youth care professional. Participants will learn many practices and interventions for intentional connection building with youth. Participants will explore the power of a youth feeling a sense of connection and belonging within a community and the likely consequences if not developed.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe the importance of youth experiencing connection & belonging within a community/relationship.
  • Learn the connection between brain development and drive for connection and belonging
  • Identify ways to promote a sense of connection and belonging in youth.
CYC Competencies: 
     Applied Human Development
     Relationship & Communication
     Developmental Practice Methods
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Module 6 of 13

1 hour this module,
18.25 in total for all modules

Module 6 Resources

Slide Handout and
Learning Guide

Certificate of completion available

Course Lessons

Created by

Tonya Hotchkin, LMFT, RPT, CTRP-C
Vice President Clinical Services

Tonya earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Family Studies from University of Northern Iowa in 2007, and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mount Mercy University in 2012.

Tonya has served in a variety of positions and programs in the social services field including inpatient, community based, school based, prevention and outpatient care with her current role being the Vice President of Clinical Services at Tanager Place.

Tonya is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist and Certified Trauma Practitioner. Tonya has advanced training in Theraplay, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Sand Tray and Play Therapy. Tonya is an adjunct professor through Mount Mercy University and has been published for knowledge related to trauma and resilience. Tonya developed the RISE: Wellness and Resilience Framework and has provided a variety of speaking events related to leadership, trauma, resilience and working with children and families in the mental health field.


Jennifer Null, LMFT, RPT-S
Institute of Learning Director

Jennie serves as Director of the Meraki Institute of Learning at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids IA. Jennie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. She has advanced training in Family Therapy, Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Clinical Supervision, Restorative Practices, and Leadership. Jennie has presented internationally on topics related to leadership, staff development, trauma informed care, resilience, and wellbeing.

Jennie has also designed and facilitated professional development courses for school districts, non-profits, and youth and family service providers focused on the RISE: Wellness & Resilience Framework, trauma informed care, youth mental health considerations, family & parent engagement, compassion resiliency, and various leadership topics. She finds passion assisting others on their journey whether it be in a therapeutic relationship, clinical supervision and growth, facilitating highly reflective training, or mentoring.