Cape Gazette
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Kids Count publishes brief examining preparation for adulthood in state

Nov 30, 2013

Kids Count in Delaware, in partnership with the United Way of Delaware, has released a new issue brief publication focused on building assets in youth that examines how well Delaware’s youth are prepared for a productive adulthood. Investment in youth generates benefits far beyond the individual child.

Youth is a period of opportunity for creating lifelong patterns of behavior. Supportive networks, a set of external assets examined in the issue brief, are particularly important assets for children.

Social competencies, a commitment to learning, values and positive identity are internal assets which can also be encouraged by individuals in the youth’s network. The brief reports that in Delaware, 69.6 percent of youth age 12-17 were always or usually engaged in school in the past month. This commitment to learning is an example of a skill that lays a foundation for the development of independence and competence in life.

While several positive statistics are highlighted in the issue brief, it also serves as a reminder for improvements. Ideas include these: eat meals as a family; donate used books to the library; write a letter to a legislator on a children’s issue; model responsible behavior; offer to babysit for a mom who needs a break; attend events at your child’s school; be an asset champion; visit IM40.org to learn more.

As one of 53 similar projects throughout the United States and the U.S. territories funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count in Delaware is housed in the Center for Community Research and Service at the University of Delaware and is led by a board of child and family advocates. Since 1995, Kids Count in Delaware has reported on the status of children in Delaware and, in partnership with the state of Delaware since 1998, has been monitoring the health and well-being of children and their families.

Copies of the issue brief Building Assets in Youth are available at http://bit.ly/1dvJQb5.

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