Discovering Strengths is a project designed to increase access to high-results, strength-based programs for Aboriginal communities across Canada. The easy-to-use online toolkit includes effective assessment and career development programs that engage youth in identifying their assets, imagining positive futures and exploring potential career paths. The Discovering Strengths portal is designed to provide Aboriginal communities, even in remote regions, with innovative self discovery and career development materials.
The programs made available through the portal can be used to help youth
- identify their strengths and recognize the strengths of others
- develop interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team
- explore personal interests and potential careers
- imagine possible futures and envision the life they want to live
- begin to develop a career path and plan their life journey
All of the tools in the Toolkit take a strength-based approach to helping. This means focusing on what’s right instead of starting with what’s missing. The approach is founded in the belief that every youth has a unique set of strengths and full potential for growth, change and success. It also recognizes that each of us holds the key to our own transformation.
Each of the tools has been used in a variety of settings with excellent results, and pilot testing of the entire toolkit in action has shown increased resiliency levels, an increase in pro-social behaviour and a decrease in at-risk behaviours.
The toolkit is designed for use by any organization or service provider working to help Aboriginal youth and young adults. This includes:
- Schools (Grade 7 and up)
- Employment centres
- Social service agencies
- Community service providers
- Colleges and training institutions
- Other organizations that work with Aboriginal youth or young adults.
The Discovering Strengths toolkit can provide teachers and service providers with:
- ready-to-go, high results programming for disengaged and unemployed youth and young adults
- access to innovative resources that don’t require expensive in-servicing or training to deliver
- continuous access to assistance with any part of the toolkit
- additional resources for your program
- access to additional services and training programs that are partnered with this project
- a way to help youth in your community or school to imagine to plan for a positive future, and develop career goals and plans
- programming to help social services clients and other program participants move towards employment
- foundation material for a dropout outreach program
The tools in the Discovering Strengths toolkit can help you reach and engage the youth and young adults you work with. They can be used to help unemployed, underemployed and out of school youth to begin building skills and developing a career path. They can also be used as part of a career planning program in school, Life Skills or upgrading programs to help you meet program objectives.