In 2018, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto adopted the

Search Institute® Developmental Asset (DA) framework &

the Developmental Relationship framework into our practice


If you are a new Mentor, current Mentor or someone who wants to build more impactful relationships with children and youth, we suggest you read the following from the Search Institute®

Search Institute® Background

 Search Institute®

The Search Institute® has a 50-year legacy of linking research and practice to address critical issues in education and youth development.  The Developmental Assets are 40 research-based, positive experiences and qualities that influence young people’s development, helping them become caring, responsible, and productive adults.  Over time, studies of more than 5 million young people consistently show that the more assets that young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive.

The positive power of assets is evident across all cultural and socioeconomic groups of youth. Furthermore, levels of assets are better predictors of high-risk involvement and thriving than poverty, family structure, or other demographic difference.

The Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed.  Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets).   The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).


BBBST encourages you to become familiar with the Developmental Asset framework as it supports your work as a Mentor.