Faith and Developmental Assets

Religious involvement:

The more Developmental Assets young people experience, the more likely they are to spend an hour or more each week in religious programs or worship services.
– Of youth experiencing 1-10 assets, 34% spend an hour or more each week in religious programs, groups, or worship services.
– Of youth experiencing 11-20 assets, 57% spend an hour or more each week in religious programs, groups, or worship services.
– Of youth experiencing 21-30 assets, 74% spend an hour or more each week in religious programs, groups, or worship services.
– Of youth experiencing 31-40 assets, 88% spend an hour or more each week in religious programs, groups, or worship services.

Six Principles of Asset Building

Six Principles of Asset Building

These six principles are foundational for the work of building assets in children and youth.

1. All young people need assets.
Research by Search Institute and others shows that the 40 Developmental Assets are important for all youth. This is true for both boys and girls of any age, race, ethnicity, type of community, and socioeconomic level. And while it is crucial to pay special attention to those youth who have the least (economically or emotionally), nearly all young people need more assets than they have.

2. Relationships are key.
Most of the Developmental Assets are built primarily through positive relationships. Caring relationships between adults and young people, young people and their peers, and teenagers and children all are important. Congregations provide settings where lasting and caring relationships can form.

3. Everyone can build assets.
Each adult and young person has the responsibility and capacity to build assets. There are many opportunities to form relationships and build assets through the ongoing activities and programs of congregations and community organizations.

4. Asset building is an ongoing process.
Building assets starts when a child is born and continues through high school and beyond. The power of assets grows as the positive experiences from earlier years are strengthened and built upon as young people mature.

5. Young people need consistent messages.
A common message about what is important for children and youth needs to be repeated by all groups in the community. Young people need their families, congregations, schools, community organizations and business, and the media to reinforce and support each other in guiding young people. Young people need a consistent message about their value in the community, what is expected of them, and what the community values as important.

6. Repetition is important.
Young people need to experience the positive messages and opportunities of asset building in all areas of their lives. Ideally, the positive experiences and opportunities in their homes are repeated and reinforced in their congregations and in their schools. Additional reinforcement comes through informal relationships

the FIVE ACTION Strategies

The Five Action Strategies for Transforming Communities and Society:  Creating a World Where All Young People Are Valued and Thrive

1. Engage Adults – Engage adults from all walks of life to develop sustained, strength-building relationships with children and adolescents, both within families and in neighborhoods.

2. Mobilize Young People – Mobilize young people to use their power as asset builders and change agents.

3. Active Sectors – Activate all sectors of the community – such as schools, congregations, youth, businesses, human services, and health-care organizations-to create an asset-building culture and to contribute fully to young people’s healthy development.

4. Invigorate Programs – Invigorate, expand, and enhance programs to become more asset rich and to be available to and accessed by all children and youth.

5. Influence Civic Decisions – Influence decision makers and opinion leaders to leverage financial, media, and policy resources in support of this positive transformation of communities and society.

Family

african_american_family

Six Keys to Asset Building

It doesn’t cost a lot of money or require special training to build developmental assets.  Here are six keys to guide asset-building action.

  1. Everyone can build assets. Building assets requires consistent messages across a community.  All adults, youth and children play a role.
  2. All young people need assets.  While it is crucial to pay special attention to those youth who have the least (economically or emotionally), nearly all young people need more assets than they have.
  3. Relationships are key.  Strong relationships between adults and young people, young people and their peers, and teenagers and young children are central to asset building.
  4. Asset building is an ongoing process.  Building assets starts when a child is born and continues throughout high school and beyond.
  5. Consistent messages are important.  Young people need to receive consistent messages about what’s important and what’s expected from their families, schools, communities, the media, and other sources.
  6. Intentional redundancy is important.  Assets must be continually reinforced across the years and in all areas of a young person’s life.