Monday, May 4, 2009

Developmenta Assets: The Community Approach

At the end of last week, I (along with other Beaumont FCSS staff) attended St. Albert's presentation of their Developmental Asset Survey results. Some of the stats were surprising, the speakers were inspiring, and I walked away from the event feeling energized and excited about the Developmental Asset Approach here in Beaumont. I am more than curious how our youth (grades 5-11) rate their level of assets. Do they feel supported, listened to, hopeful about the future and how tolerant and accepting are they of diversity? These are all questions I would really like to know the answers to. Speakers: James Vollbracht and Keith Pattinson, spoke about some ideas to build an asset rich community that would be relatively easy to implement. However, the approach is much more about people and relationships than it is about other programs to help "fix" kids' problems. In fact, the entire approach requires that youth are considered resources and participants in the process and NOT as problems. Keith, spoke about some extremely ambitious projects and work being done in Summerland, B.C. as a part of the Summerland Asset Development Initiative. I am still in awe of the amazing work that was undertaken and managed by the youth of this small but vibrant community.

However, in the wake of tragedies like the one from last weekend, when a 14 year old in Edmonton overdoses and passes away from the use of an illegal is difficult not to think about fixing the problems of youth. Communities will likely always require a range of services that include preventative, community development initiatives that focus on strength based strategies and those that deal with the issues of drug and alcohol abuse and law enforcement issues. Our hope here at FCSS is that more focus, effort, and resources channelled into those activities that are recognizing the pure potential of our young people will ultimately lessen our need for the more serious and sometimes tragic events like those we tend to hear about on the six o' clock news.

For more information about all FCSS programming here in the Town of Beaumont please contact my self (Linda Mix-Kondratski) at or Kim Williston at and have a great week!

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