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Asset-Building Toolkit

Halton professionals and families build assets. The Asset-Building Toolkit is filled with easy, online access to tools, videos, ideas and resources to enhance work with staff, parents, children and youth. Developmental Assets and Family Assets can be built more effectively and efficiently when we start with Developmental Relationships.

This Asset-Building in Halton graphic illustrates how professionals and families build assets.

Harness the power of organizations to make a difference in the lives of children and youth through asset-building.

Determine readiness for meaningful youth engagement for committees and community groups..


Compare asset-poor and asset-rich organizational characteristics and values.


Examine an organization’s asset-building ability and capacity. Use for strategic planning to identify strengths and gaps.


Stimulate discussions about assets and use for planning in an organization or on a team.

Consider necessary preconditions to building relationships in organizations, the barriers and ideas. Create schools and programs where Developmental Relationships thrive.

Learn about how St. Albert, Alberta has embedded asset-building into their community.

Six short videos on how asset-building works and how it has made a difference in St. Albert, Alberta.

Children’s rights video that can help set stage for organizational asset-building.


Use this example when grant and proposal writing.

Comprehensive information and research that are the foundation of Developmental Assets.

Use these points to support the asset-building approach.


The Search Institute identified 40 assets critical to positive child development. The more assets young people have, they are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviours.


Share this infographic from PREVNet illustrating Canadian statistics related to youth and healthy relationships.


Share this infographic from Health Canada illustrating data collected from the Health Behaviour of School-Aged Children in Canada study.

Information, ideas and resources to raise awareness and communicate about asset-building.


Use these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations and resources next time you are asked to present.

Use these Key Messages help to define the Asset-Building efforts of your organization.

Search Institute has identified five elements—20 specific actions—that make relationships powerful and the key ingredient to child and youth success. Once meaningful relationships exist, it’s more effective and efficient to build Developmental Assets and Family Assets.

Share this 4-minute animated video created by students, with the support of adult allies. After they had learned about Developmental Relationships (developed by the Search Institute), they talked about how relationships make a difference in their lives.

Share this 4-minute video about how adults shape the way children think, feel and act right from birth. Use this video to have conversations about the relationship strategies.

Use this example about a young girl who succeeds due to asset-building in her school and community to write your own asset-building story for a local paper.

Search Institute has identified the building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Building blocks of healthy development that help children ages 3 to 5 grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

Building blocks of healthy development that help children ages 5 to 9 (kindergarten through grade 3).

Building blocks of healthy development that help children throughout the middle ages 8 to12.

Building blocks of healthy development that help adolescents.

Search Institute has identified building blocks of healthy development that help children and young children grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

This document provides a complete listing of the 40 Developmental Assets for ages 12-18.

Building blocks of healthy development that help children ages 3 to 5 grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

Building blocks of healthy development that help children ages 5 to 9 (kindergarten through grade 3).

Building blocks of healthy development that help children throughout the middle years, ages 8 to12.

Use this resource to identify future goals and objectives in your work.

Search Institute’s focus on developmental relationships highlights the vital roles that families play in young people’s development, learning, and thriving.

This document provides an overview of the Family Asset Framework – 20 actions for families to be happy and strong.

Share this infographic to inspire professionals about shifts that successful schools, organizations and coalitions are making to engage families as partners.

8-minute introductory video that illustrates important key messages about Search Institute’s internationally-recognized research on the strengths and supports that enable young people to thrive.

National Asset-Building organization. Order Search resources, access training or connect to other asset-building organizations across Canada.

11-minute introductory video that shares Developmental Asset-Building concepts for Early Years staff.

Consider catching people doing things right in your organization.... a strategy to engage children, youth, families and staff in any organization.

Use this template to write or script your Asset-Building stories for the news, a newsletter or video.

Five 2-minute videos of how Halton professionals rely on Asset-Building in their work with children, youth and families. Use them to inspire at your work.

Six short videos showcase a range of people from a young person to the Mayor of St. Albert, Alberta. Their messages demonstrate how easy asset-building really is.

3-minute TED Talk presented by Josh Shipp, a former youth in care. His powerful story illustrates how the support of one caring adult can have a profoundly positive impact on a child’s life.

1-minute video that shares how the small everyday things we do and say can make a positive impact on children's lives.

Resources for supervisors, managers, human resource professionals, and those who work with volunteers.

The center of a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development.


Ideas and suggestions for interviewing using and asset-building lens.

Powerful 5-minute video that illustrates the importance of supporting and developing skills in adults who interact with children and youth.


Checklist for using asset-building language in job postings, interviews and follow up.

Model asset-building with new employees.

Examples of policy statements that can change an organization’s culture.

5-minute video hosted by Search Institute President & CEO, Dr. Kent Pekel.

Reflect on this checklist when developing or evaluating your program.

Share this table to encourage discussion and to prioritize relationships between professionals in your organization.

Consider these key shifts in approach and implementation when working with parenting adults.

Use this checklist to develop your next job posting, interview questions and considerations for follow-up.

Use an asset-building lens for your next interview.

Complete this checklist to test asset-building knowledge and understanding. Can be used for interviewees.

Use these ideas for constructive feedback, reference checks and timing.

Share this volunteer application template developed by the Boys and Girls Club, Kamloops, British Columbia

Share this volunteer intake form developed by Iroquois Ridge Secondary School, Oakville, Ontario to help identify strengths of volunteers.

Model asset-building with new employees.

Keep the conversation moving towards positive relationships by regularly using these 7 easy, phrases.

Use these relationship-building tips next time you are presenting to professionals or to parents.

2-minute TED Talk video by Rita Pearson, for professionals to reflect on the impact they can have every day.

Concrete information, ideas and resources to enhance the great work you are already doing.

Everyday, small actions make a difference. Could be used to set the tone for meetings, forums and events.


Quick and easy ideas for parents to build and track assets.


St. Albert, Alberta community asset-building charter template.


Practical ideas developed by Halton professionals organized by the Developmental Assets categories.

A youth for youth transition program that builds assets and positive school culture.


When building assets is in place, add these asset-building ideas for professionals.

Young woman talks about how building assets doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Benefits a peer mentor audience.

Research links and school-focussed asset-building resources compiled by Halton Region Public Health.

An inspiring TED talk presented by Josh Shipp, a former youth in care, who credits one adult for his life success.


Search Institute identified a number of actions and asked young people (ages 12 to17) to rank actions that were most important to them.


Discussion starter and planning tool for people and groups working for the betterment of their neighbourhood.

Children’s rights video. Conversation starter about asset-building.

Parenting support website with a focus on Family Assets and Developmental Relationships. Includes interactive resources for families with children birth to 18 years-old.


A sample letter to build confidence and self-esteem written by a hockey coach for every player on the team.


Examples of ways Halton professionals are enhancing programs through asset-building.


Program description for the YMCA, a Canadian asset-building leader.

Tools and resources to get you started or to go a little deeper in embedding engagement into your work.

Youth helped create a quick and user-friendly checklist to organize meetings that include young people.

Template to develop a comprehensive child and youth engagement policy.

A very creative example from MCRC of how to depict children’s voices and what is important to them.

Developed locally, this is a template can be used to elicit a child’s voice in learning and communicating what is important to them.


Sample policy recommendation from Halton Hills developed with input from youth.

Milton Community Resource Centre activity to help children express their thoughts and opinions through the use of digital cameras.

Developed by Halton youth, this list facilitates discussion in programs and teams about key elements of engagement.

Resource to determine readiness for meaningful youth engagement for committees and community groups.


A compilation of the principles of youth engagement, the reason for a continuum vs a policy and the inclusion of youth ideas and thoughts.

A step by step guide of how and why to engage in a photovoice project with youth.

Resource to engage youth, and identify roles, responsibilities and expectations.

Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health video on the importance of youth engagement on all levels and what youth can contribute: creativity, innovation, passion and more.

An on-line, user-friendly, comprehensive toolkit that addresses all aspects of youth engagement.

Resources and tools to help evaluate asset-building. Keep momentum going and to find opportunities to celebrate success!

Four essential steps to designing and evaluating a community-based information and media project.


Replicate this survey in your program to gauge how you are doing.


Toolkit includes details of a rural community’s asset-building initiative and evaluation tools are a key component.

Tamarack has a robust body of knowledge, resources and tools focused on Evaluation Planning and Outcome Evaluation to help you assess your impact.

Easy-to-use tools for developing program logic models, a post-program survey or for embarking on a full evaluation.

Ontario-based work connecting the grassroots youth sector through knowledge mobilization, capacity-building and evaluation leadership

Reflections of a former foster child. Powerful story illustrating how the support of one adult can have a profoundly positive impact on a child’s life

1.5-minute video created in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Great way to celebrate teachers!

2-minute video shares the responses from elementary school students when asked questions about what “community” means to them.

3-minute video captures reactions of students when school staff told them why they inspire them to come to school every day.

Survey template to collect feedback about how children feel about YMCA programming.

Use quotes from your children and youth in your presentations, reports and marketing resources.

Rating template for youth to use to share their feelings about asset-building programming..

Rating template on how youth feel about asset-building programming.

Tool for youth to use to rate and reply to questions about how inclusive their experience on a team is.

1-minute introduction to the research and evaluation platform hosted by YouthREX.

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Generous funding for the
Our Kids Network Asset-Building Initiative