SERVING KIDS AND FAMILIES SINCE 2001
Building resilient kids who say “No” to destructive choices and “Yes” to their endless possibilities.
Edward Hospital created KidsMatter (formerly known as the Naperville Youth Development Coalition) as a community-wide prevention health strategy to combat teenage destructive behaviors and was granted our 501(c)(3) status in 2001. Recognizing a problem-centered approach which relies heavily on professionals and public-sector resources rarely works by itself, Edward and a team of Naperville community leaders looked for a complementary approach which focuses on the healthy development of all young people, regardless of race/ethnicity/economic background, and requires action by all residents of the community.
Search Institute’s research-proven 40 Developmental Asset Framework was selected as the infrastructure to help KidsMatter ensure the core building blocks of healthy development were in place for our youth. This research clearly communicates: the more Assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in many high-risk behaviors such as problem alcohol use, violence/bullying, illicit drug use, and sexual activity and the more likely they are to exhibit positive attitudes and behaviors such as leadership, good health, valuing diversity, success in school and ultimately success in Life!
Why do some kids grow up with ease, while others struggle? Why do some kids get involved in dangerous activities, while others spend their time contributing to society? Why do some youth “beat the odds” in difficult situations, while others get trapped?
Many factors influence why some young people have successes in life and why others have a harder time. Economic circumstances, genetics, trauma, and many other factors play a role. But these factors—which seem difficult, if not impossible, to change—aren’t all that matters. Research by the Search Institute has identified 40 concrete, positive experiences and qualities named “Developmental Assets”—that have a tremendous influence on young peoples’ lives. And, they are things that people from all walks of life can help to nurture.
Parents and families matter too at KidsMatter.
Our network of partners helps us to connect parents committed to providing nonjudgmental opportunities to share struggles, provide support, and ultimately strengthen the fabric of our families and community, to the resources they need.
We believe in building resilient kids and families who say NO to destructive behaviors and YES to endless possibilities. Our partner programs offer parents a safe environment to discuss at-risk situations and be strengthened to challenge our children’s choices about social issues, drugs and alcohol.
KidsMatter leads the Collaborative Youth Team of Illinois (CYT), a coalition of over 30 youth-serving organizations, including mental health professionals, schools, public safety agencies, and faith-based communities that are working together to promote and advocate for the health and well-being of kids and families.
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