Developmental Assets

The 40 Developmental Asset Approach
The YMCA embraces the 40 Developmental Assets in all our programs.  The assets are a framework that identifies crucial relationships, experiences, opportunities and personal qualities that children and adolescents need as they grow to become healthy, caring and responsible adults.  The developmental assets are building blocks of healthy development that include internal and external assets such as family support, community values, school involvement, adult role models, creative activity, achievement, motivation, integrity, planning, decision making and personal power.
The assets clearly show important roles that families, schools, congregations, neighborhoods, youth organizations and others in communities play in shaping young people's lives. They provide a powerful framework and lens for how YMCAs engage children, youth, families and communities.

If you can say “hi” or wave you can start building assets.  Here are some easy ways to get started.

  • Get to know young people
  • Ask kids for their help
  • Spend time with kids
  • Treat kids with respect
  • Set boundaries and limits
  • Speak out for children and youth
  • Listen when children talk
  • See past their appearance

To learn more about the 40 Developmental Assets visit the Search- Institute Website.

To learn more about how the Southington Community uses the Developmental Assets through STEPS please visit the STEPS website.



Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS) is an asset based prevention coalition that is following the Search Institutes 40 Developmental Asset Model. Our coalition is made up of leaders from every sector of the Southington community, all with the same intentions of ensuring our youth grow up to be caring, competent and successful individuals. Our members come from the following sectors: Substance Prevention programs, our local media, the Southington Board of Education and school system, our local government and Town Council, healthcare professionals, several civic and volunteer groups, the United Way of Southington, religious and fraternal organizations, the Southington Police and Fire Departments, the Southington YMCA, Southington Youth Services, the Southington Chamber of Commerce, parents, PTO groups and most importantly, our youth. We are all very dedicated to work together to make Southington a better place for youth. Expected outcomes of our initiative:

  • Prevent and reduce substance abuse in the Southington Community
  • Youth will build core competencies
  • Youth will engage in healthy activities
  • Our community will offer safe outlets for recreation


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