At the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region (CYPT), we believe that a strong sense of belonging is foundational to child and youth well-being. When young people’s sense of belonging increases, it leads to many other good outcomes.


The work of the CYPT collaborative is focused predominantly in the area of Belonging for children and youth. For us, belonging includes three key areas of focus:

  • Equity
  • Attachment/relationships
  • Children and youth feeling valued, heard and included
UNICEF Canada defines belonging as “feeling loved and supported and having mutually caring and respectful relationships.” This love and support can come from many sources including:
  • friends
  • family
  • teachers
  • pets
  • people in the community

Learn more about belonging in Waterloo Region

A Case for Child and Youth Belonging

To learn how the CYPT landed on belonging as a focus area for our collective impact work, read Building a Case for Child and Youth Belonging: Insights from the Children and Youth Planning Table of Waterloo Region.

A conversation about Belonging with Kim DeGasperis from the Waterloo Catholic
District School Board and Alison Pearson from the CYPT Backbone Team.

What makes you feel like you belong? Insights from a youth in Waterloo Region.

CYPT Voting Member, Tammy Webster, on belonging.