What Every Child Needs

February 21, 2013

The Search Institute, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, researches developmental resources that children need to succeed. They are currently leading experts on what communities and families can provide for children to thrive. The goal is creating positive experiences to create responsible, caring adults. These 40 Developmental Assets, as they are called, are a way to essentially measure the “good stuff” in an environment.

Part of CARE for AIDS’ mission is to strengthen parents to provide such environments. Our parents must understand these assets if they are to be able to share them with their children and model them. For this reason our counselors are incredibly important! They are teaching and modeling these characteristics to our parents in ways that the client’s own parents were unable to do for them. We are relinking the chain to healthy behavior and family functioning. Here are several assets I found particularly applicable to the CARE for AIDS program.

  • Asset Number 1. Family Support | “Family continues to be a consistent provider of love and support for the child’s unique physical and emotional needs.” -This is only possible through living, healthy parents.
  • Asset Number 4. Caring Neighborhood | “Parent(s) and child experience friendly neighbors who affirm and support the child’s growth and sense of belonging.” -We are educating the community counteracting the stigma of the HIV/AIDS virus.
  • Asset Number 14. Adult Role Models | “Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior and encourage the child to follow these examples.” – Children see their parents becoming healthy through discipline and modeling care.
  • Asset Number 19. Religious Community | “Child participates in age-appropriate religious activities and caring relationships that nurture her or his spiritual development.” – Families are connected to a faith community.
  • Asset Number 39. Sense of Purpose | “Child welcomes new experiences and imagines what he or she might do or be in the future.” – Parents’ health despite HIV/AIDS becomes a positive indicator of a future for which a child can dream and hope. As the parent sees their purpose and accomplishes their goals, the child experiences it as a possibility for his own life.

For a full list of the 40 Developmental Assets, visit www.Search-Institute.org.

As we continue to build strong families, we prepare for the next generation.

How does your community match up to the characteristics? Which ones do you see as extremely important to your family?