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About Youth Services

40 Developmental Assets

40 Developmental Assets
The City of Richmond Youth Services uses the 40 Developmental Assets as its framework for working with youth. Through programs, activities, mentorship and peer support, youth learn to build assets and connect to their community.

The Search Institute has identified 40 concrete qualities -Developmental Assets - that have a tremendous influence on young people’s lives and choices. Research shows that the PDF Document 40 developmental assets help young people make wise decisions, choose positive paths and grow up competent and responsible.

Internal assets are assets that youth can work on independently, but for youth to build external assets, they need help from their community.  These developmental relationships are close connections through which young people develop the character strengths they need to become healthy, caring and responsible adults.

Youth Services and the Richmond Youth Media Program created the following video to share the message of Asset Development in Richmond.

Press the play button and then the square button in the bottom, right-hand corner to watch the video in full screen HD.

The 40 Developmental Assets are divided into two groups (20 internal and 20 external assets) with eight subcategories:

Internal Assets
Internal assets are assets that youth can work on independently.

Commitment to learning - Young people need to develop a lifelong commitment to education and learning.

Positive values - Youth need to develop strong values that guide their choices.

Social competencies - Young people need skills and competencies that equip them to make positive choices, to build relationships and to succeed in life.

Positive identity - Young people need a strong sense of their own power, purpose, worth and promise.

External Assets
External Assets focus on positive experiences that young people receive from the people and institutions in their lives.

Support - Young people need to experience support, care, and love from their families, neighbours and others. They need organizations and institutions that provide positive, supportive environments.

Empowerment - Young people need to be valued by their community and have opportunities to contribute to others. For this to occur, they must be safe and feel secure.

Boundaries and expectations - Young people need to know what is expected of them and whether activities and behaviours are "in bounds" or "out of bounds".

Constructive use of time - Young people need constructive, enriching opportunities for growth through creative activities, youth programs, congregational involvement, and quality time at home.

Here is the complete list of the PDF Document 40 Developmental Assets.

For more information on the 40 Development Assets contact