Rachel Quinn, Head of Developmental Assets shares her thoughts on what is to be a ‘proper grown-up’ in her first blog for our Developmental Assets Project.

As a child, and probably like many of us, I was utterly clueless about what I wanted to be and how I planned to get there.  Being a grown-up seemed a long way off and I don’t think I was in much of a hurry to find out – I was lucky to have time, space and the inputs to help me literally grow into it.

For others the need to grow up comes much sooner and often before the basic skills, attributes and support are in place.  But what does growing up successfully into adulthood success look like and what determines the chances of any young person achieving it well?

Anyone who has worked with, engaged with or has their own children will have a feel for some of the answer.  The presence or lack of physical activity, friendships, creative endeavors and family bonds can have a visible impact on children’s development.  In contrast, we can sense whether confidence, self-esteem, communication skills and positivity about the future are growing in a young person.

After many years of research, the Search Institute has identified 40 specific factors most likely to predetermine positive adult outcomes.  These are the Developmental Assets and are used to determine the chances of a young person going on to enjoy health, happiness and personal success as an adult.

Assets don’t guarantee proper grown-ups but the more assets a child can acquire increases the chances of a positive future immensely.  They are not a programme to follow or a project to deliver, they are simply a tool to better understand the development and future life chances of any young person.

As Head of Developmental Assets at the YMCA (and still trying to be that proper grown-up) I have been working with schools and the Newark community.  As a result of large scale surveys we will better understand the assets that local young people have and how we at the YMCA, our partners and the whole Newark community can actively become Asset Builders.

In this blog I’ll be discussing different topics relating to Developmental Assets – providing tips and resources to help you be an Asset Builder and posing questions to get you thinking about how you can structure your work and teams to do this without even thinking about it.

I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months and if you’d like a conversation about the Assets or this work please just get in touch.

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