Do you remember coming home from school and running through the neighborhood at a thundering speed, playing catch with your pals, and having a last-minute pizza dinner with your best friend’s family? Past generations have enjoyed much more freedom and safety than young people today. In a bygone era, if you got hurt, in trouble, or lost near your home, you felt safe because you knew your neighbors and had only to turn to one of them for help or reassurance. It’s important for the well-being of young people and society to reach out to one another and get to know neighbors. Caring Neighborhood is Asset 4 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people are more likely to grow up healthy if they live in a community with caring neighbors. About 37 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they have caring neighbors, according to Search Institute surveys.
The key is to create a safe haven in which young people feel loved, supported, and understood.