What are the developmental assets?

The 40 Developmental Assets are essentially building blocks that promote positive qualities in children and youths, helping them become successful adults. There are 20 internal assets and 20 external assets, all of which interact to enhance your child or youth’s healthy and positive development.

The more assets your child or youth has, the better equipped they are to fend against negative influences. Assets also help your child or youth learn qualities such as caring, responsibility, competence and sense of purpose. In short, the developmental assets will help your child or youth grow into the person you would want them to be.

Why are the developmental assets important?

Research demonstrates that the more assets a child has, the more likely they are to achieve better outcomes across variables such as education, physical and emotional health, and social competency. For example, children or youth with higher assets are less likely than those with lower assets to engage in substance use or other high-risk behaviour. They are also more likely to perform better academically and to be more socially responsible.

Who can help build assets?

Any adult who is involved with a child or youth can play a role in asset building. Parents, teachers, coaches and neighbours can all help. Most asset building activities are easy, fun, and free. All it takes is a little time and consideration. Simple things like getting to know your child’s teacher, encouraging creative activities and being a positive adult role model all contribute to helping a child or youth build assets.

Our Commitment to the Developmental Assets

The Children’s Aid Society of SDG is dedicated to the philosophy of asset building. All of our children and youth are regularly scored on their individual asset profiles. Our formal and informal planning for our children and youth also includes developing strategies around asset building. Our Permanency Workers, Child and Family Workers, and resource parents have received training, and we currently have two designated asset trainers within our agency. Our goal is to bring the message of developmental assets to families in our community. We want to share this incredible parenting tool with everyone who has an interest in helping children and youth succeed.

Want to learn more?

For a wealth of information on the developmental assets approach, please visit Search Institute.