Asset-Based Community Development

Asset-Based Community Development is an approach that recognizes the existing strengths and resources of individuals in communities and uses those strengths and resources to further build the community and to sustain development (Search Institute, 2013). By focusing on assets and capacities rather than needs and deficiencies, the approach directs energy toward opportunities.

As part of the Asset-Based Community Development theory, 40 Developmental Assets describing qualities and experiences that are crucial to positive youth development have been identified. These assets, grouped into eight basic categories, cover a range of strengths both external (provided by others) and internal (developed by youth themselves, with guidance from others). To access the comprehensive list of development assets, please visit Search Institute.

The We Belong: A How-To Guide walks you through the process of incorporating the Asset-Based Community Development approach into your program.

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