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Responsive, reciprocal relationships and supportive environments

Social emotional health is enhanced when learning occurs in the context of responsive, reciprocal relationships and supportive environments.  Supportive environments are settings that meet the physical, emotional, social and learning needs of children and youth and that provide a sense of safety. Environments are often adapted to support young people as they develop and practice core competencies and related skills.
Children need stimulating relationships with their parents as well as positive, meaningful relationships with peers and adults who feel that they matter. These relationships establish the connections necessary for social emotional development and social emotional learning to occur.
In a school SEL model, school-family-community partnerships are the foundation for promoting the development of all students (Zins, et al, 2007)1. This wraparound approach that promotes positive social emotional health is essential for children and youth with special needs.