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Asset-Building Toolkit

The Our Kids Network Asset-Building can help enrich and expand building Developmental Assets® in our work with children, youth and families. The toolkit contains a broad variety of resources and has been designed to support all professionals, regardless of stage or level of asset-building.

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


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.


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


Comparison of 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.

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.

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

Information on how St. Albert, Alberta has embedded asset-building into their community.

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


This resource helps identify gaps in programming/services and highlights opportunities to help facilitate a co-ordinated approach to address bullying.


Key messages to assist everyone who communicates about the Bullying Prevention Task Force and the Parent and Youth Focus Group Reports.


Literature review provides an understanding of current evidence and knowledge about bullying.


Reports and key findings on how parents of children and youth, and youth themselves, in groups at higher risk for bullying (differing abilities, LGBTQ) can be supported when dealing with bullying issues.


Presentation and key messages to assist everyone who communicates about the Bullying Prevention Task Force and the Parent and Youth Focus Group Reports.


Annual Give Respect ~ Get Respect Movement spreads the message of respect, positive relationships and bullying prevention.  Posters, videos and original music composition.


Chart depicting how Developmental Assets change as children age.


Template for structuring written or video stories.

Hamilton Spectator article about a young girl who succeeds due to asset-building in her school and community.

Developmental Asset building concepts for Early Educators of Children 0 to 5 years of age.

Introduction to Search Institute’s internationally-recognized research on the strengths and supports that enable young people to thrive.

Danny Howe talks about what he is doing to bring asset-building to his community

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

Introduction to Family Assets (relationships, interactions, opportunities, and values) that help families thrive.

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

Initiative to catch people doing things right.... a strategy to engage children or youth that can easily be transferred to any organization

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


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


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

Interviewees can complete this checklist to test their asset-building knowledge and understanding.

Ideas for constructive feedback, reference checks and timing.

Model asset-building with new employees.

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

Volunteer intake form developed by Iroquois Ridge Secondary School, Oakville, Ontario.

Volunteer application template developed by the Boys and Girls Club, Kamloops, British Columbia.

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

Inspirational video for professionals to understand kids need for positive development, resilience and success.

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Template to develop a comprehensive child and youth engagement policy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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!


Details of a rural community’s asset-building initiative. Evaluation is a key component .


Survey of after-school activities just for fun or in competition.

Survey template on how children feel about YMCA programming.

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

Rating and question on how inclusive a team is.

Support key messages and information sharing with quotes in reports, presentations, and marketing.

Children and youth discuss what’s important to give them a sense of belonging in their community.

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

YouthREX, a knowledge mobilization organization using innovative approaches to have an impact on youth and the community.

Ideas to celebrate professional or a program.

Tamarack has collected a robust body of knowledge, resources and tools focused on both Evaluation Planning and Outcome Evaluation to help you to assess the impact of your community change work.

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

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

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Generous funding for the
Our Kids Network Asset-Building Initiative