Journey of Hope

Save the Children developed Journey of Hope after Hurricane Katrina, and has implemented in disaster and low-resource settings across the United States and internationally since 2007.

The program is designed to help normalize emotions and develop positive coping strategies through cooperative play, creative arts and literacy. There are three modules for children between 4-12 years old. Journey of Hope is organized into 8 one-hour sessions for groups of 8-10 children. Save the Children partners with school districts, childcare centers and community organizations to implement Journey of Hope with trained facilitators during the school term or in summer camps.

In addition to the children's modules, there is a 3-hour workshop for caregivers to allow the time and space to process their experience, identify their coping mechanisms and develop community resources to increasing their capacity to support children.

Last reviewed: 2024

Intended Outcomes:

  • Support children in understanding and normalizing emotions associated with trauma or other difficult circumstances.
  • Support children in developing positive coping strategies to deal with these emotions.
  • Build on the innate strengths of children, their families, schools, and communities to further develop positive coping mechanisms.
  • Instill a sense of hope, empowering children to feel more in control.

Continuum of Care:
Selective Prevention

Topic Areas:
Anxiety, Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Depression, Trauma

Childhood (4-12)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, School-Based

Cultural Considerations:
Limited research found involving diverse populations

Children 4-12 years old who have been impacted by natural disasters or poverty.



Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
The Journey of Hope training model is a train-the-facilitator design that provides communities the opportunity to expand their capacity to deliver high-quality, school-based social and emotional learning programs for years to come. Please contact for more information.

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Powell, T. M. & Thompson, S. J. (2014). Enhancing coping and supporting protective factors after a disaster: findings from a quasi-experimental study. Research on Social Work Practice.

Powell, T. M., Wegmann, K. M., & Shin, O. J. (2019). Stress and coping in a social service providers after sandstorm Sandy: an examination of a postdisaster psychoeducational intervention.Traumatology, 25(2), 96-103.

Powell, T. M. & Davis, J. P. (2019). Addressing the social emotional needs of children in chronic poverty: a pilot of the Journey of Hope. Children and Youth Services Review.

Promising rating

WV Rating:
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

The program has been studied via pre/post-test assessments (e.g., Powell et al., 2019), waitlist control (Powell & Thompson, 2014), and case studies (e.g., Powell & Davis, 2019). While some research suggested notable improvements in target behaviors (e.g., Powell & Thompson, 2014; Powell et al., 2019), some variability was recognized, with not all studies demonstrated significant changes in emotional problems or conduct problems (e.g., Powell & Davis, 2019). Although research suggested some benefit, the majority of found literature was published by the primary creator of the program, suggesting the need for additional diversity of study. Future research is also needed to study the program with greater methodological rigor, such as through randomized-controlled trial, with additional objective measures of improvement (vs clinician survey; Powell et al., 2019), with the inclusion of more diverse and varied samples, while controlling for other factors (e.g., additional psychosocial/pharmacological treatments, age factors, race/ethnicity factors, etc.), and with comparison to similar treatments for grief/trauma.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:
Not On Registry

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry