Section 5 Child and youth engagement

Child and youth engagement is a win-win. It makes our work more meaningful and directly affects those children and youth who work with us by giving them access to many more assets. Sound easy? It can be…here are some things to help you.

If you would like more information or to discuss asset building, contact Mary Tabak, OKN Developmental Assets Project Manager at

OKN youth engagement work
      5.1 Continuum of youth engagement (summary)
      5.2 Models for youth engagement strategies
      5.3 Environmental scan of youth engagement policies (national and international)
      5.4 Continuum of youth engagement (complete version)
      5.5 Youth engaging youth: Our Kids Network student intern project
      5.6 Example of local youth engagement policy

Have meaningful discussions
      5.7 Checklist for youth friendly meeting 
      5.8 Organizational readiness checklist
      5.9 Looking at your activities through an asset-building lens
      5.10 Fourteen critical elements of programming for young people

Child and youth engagement resources
      5.11 Obstacles for youth engagement (see page 10)
      5.12 The Do's and Don'ts of youth engagement
      5.13 A step-by-step guide for youth-led community listening projects
      5.14 Policy statements template
      5.15 Commitment letter template
      5.16 Sample child/youth evaluation (to come)
      5.17 A child’s letter to teacher activity
      5.18 Photovoice activity with youth          
      5.19 Digital cameras as provocation for young children activity
      5.20 Ontario Health Communities Coalition youth engagement summary of work
      5.21 Volunteer intake forms ... and more!
      5.22 Together with youth - a summary of highlights for decision makers
      5.23 Youth Engagement interiative evaluation tools

Quick Tips
- Always share the “givens” with young people. What are the boundaries? What’s negotiable and what is not?
- Go to where they are and at a time they are free
- Budget for things like food, transportation, honorariums
- Focus on short-term goals
- Have fun!

Go to:
Section 1: Organizational commitment
Section 2: Sharing the asset message
Section 3: Embed Developmental Assets into your organization
Section 4: Invigorate your program with Developmental Assets
Section 6: Celebrate and evaluate

Data is more than just numbers

The OKN Data Portal is an interactive online database. Users will find community and neighbourhood-level information, demographics, OKN research data on health, safety, education, Developmental Assets®, Census data and more. Use it for planning, funding proposal, presentations, mapping and more.

Search data, create maps or add your own data right now! 

Take some time to learn more about how to use the OKN Data Portal, OKN research and other types of resources.

A Positive Approach
to Strengthening all Families

A strong, healthy, caring family can make a lot of difference in our lives. The Search Institute conducted a national research study to identify a set of “Family Assets” that make a major difference in the lives of both kids and parenting adults. Like Developmental Assets, Family Assets focus on identifying, celebrating, and investing in the strengths in families.
Learn more