Enabling Environment

Youth are surrounded by an environment that develops and supports their assets, agency, access to services, and opportunities, and strengthens their ability to avoid risks and to stay safe, secure, and be protected. An enabling environment encourages and recognizes youth, while promoting their social and emotional competence to thrive. The term “environment” should be interpreted broadly and includes social (e.g., relationships with peers and adults), normative (e.g., attitudes, norms and beliefs), structural (e.g., laws, policies, programs services, and systems), and physical (e.g., safe, supportive spaces) environments.

The tool promotes reflection on the quality of relationships among staff and suggests programmatic activities to enhance relationships among youth, with youth workers and family members. youth Healthy relationships provide youth with positive role models and provide emotional safety and trust. A student’s relationship with a teacher or coach can greatly impact youth success.