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Asset Building Workshop
Release Date: November 15, 2013

Sussex County Department of Human Services Holds Workshop Focusing on Building Assets in Youth

The Sussex County Department of Human Services, in collaboration with the Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) provided a free, interactive workshop for parents, grandparents and childcare providers on the "Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets." Every year the Department of Human Services and the HSAC partner to develop a program that addresses the area of child abuse prevention in our community, as mandated by the NJ Department of Children and Families. Shelley Stuart and Tina Thompson, from the Center for Prevention and Counseling, fully engaged, approximately, 70 participants by giving a dynamic presentation and introduced fun activities focused on developmental assets, created by the Search Institute.

The Search Institute is an organization, which for more than 50 years has been researching and putting into practice the fostering of positive youth development with an emphasis on developmental assets. Search Institute published a framework of 40 Developmental Assets in 1990. Ms. Stuart and Ms. Thompson explained to the audience that developmental assets in children and adolescents include both internal assets such as personal strengths, skills, attitudes and values, as well as external assets such as community, school and family supports. The presentation was based on the premise that children and adolescents need assets in order to become socially, emotionally and academically prepared to live successfully in society and that adults need to assist in the creation of assets. It was stated that most parents and childcare providers are already building assets in their children and adolescents with whom they work and interact without even realizing it. Participants were given ideas on how to build further assets within their own children, as well as youth that they may interact with in the community. Some suggestions given to build assets in children included eating dinner every night as a family, making time to converse with youth you encounter in your community and engaging youth in community service activities and volunteer work. Participants were educated on the importance of developing assets in youth as a prevention model, including the prevention of child abuse, substance use and at-risk behaviors.

Each participant was given a folder of valuable, local human service resources and a copy of "What Kids Need to Succeed" asset building book. The Sussex County Department of Human Services is committed to providing quality services to the citizens of Sussex County. For more information on other Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) activities or to get involved with the council, please contact Christine Florio at (973) 948-6000 ext. 1381 or cflorio@sussex.nj.us.

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