I'm really delighted to announce that Gene Roehlkepartain from the Search Institute will be in Adelaide on Monday 3 July to lead seminars for churches, schools and youth work professionals on developmental assets of young people. Three seminars will be held between 2.00 pm and 9.30 pm at Immanuel College, Morphett St, Novar Gardens. Details here. 408 kb PDF
I've been familiar with the work of the Search Institute for 15 years, and I would say that in my 26 years in youth ministry, this is the best framework for community youth development that I've come across. Search Institute originated as a Lutheran research body some 30 years ago, and now works as a non-sectarian broad-based youth research and development organisation. Their Assets framework, which is based on research with over 2 million young people, is used in over 600 communities in the US and also around the world. It has been applied in schools, health, local government policy, YMCA, churches and many other bodies.
Parkin-Wesley College is partnering with the Lutheran Church's Children, Youth & Family Ministry Dept in SA/NT to sponsor this significant event.
Kevin Richardson, Principal of Immanuel College, says "I have been familiar with the Development Assets for some time and am excited at the possibilities for educators, schools and young people as they are introduced in Australia. I believe this to be one of the better frameworks for pastoral care and development I have seen."
Andrew Fuller, one of Australia's most well-known adolescent psychologists and clinicians, is a supporter of the Assets approach.
In November 2005 I had the privilege of attending a Search Institute train-the-trainer event in Minneapolis. It was incredibly stimulating and enriching. It is fantastic that we are able to offer people here in SA access to similar input.
Let me say that Gene is not a hyped-up youth speaker. He is a humble, intelligent, gifted thinker who has not only helped Search to communicate and develop its work, but has also been involved in his home community for over 10 years in introducing it. He is high on content and learning process and low on ego and hype.
This is a research-based youth development framework, not a program or approach, that has a substantial track record and broad application in a wide range of contexts. I have used it to help youth workers, youth leaders and communities to develop collaborative approaches among schools, churches, local government, police and other bodies to work together for the well-being of young people. I think that a 'community development' approach to mission is one of the best ways for churches to step beyond a 'recruitment' model and forge genuine partnerships with other organisations and individuals in the wider community.
Gene will also be speaking in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne as part of a national tour with Trhiving Youth Australia (and Perth>)