Discover How Search Institute’s Research Can Help the Young People in Your Life

Our Vision

All young people have what they need to thrive.

Our Mission

Search Institute partners with organizations to conduct and apply research that promotes positive youth development and advances equity.

We Value

In our work, internally and externally, we value:

  • Diversity: We embrace diverse perspectives, experiences, ways of learning, and forms of wisdom.
  • Equity: We strive to understand systems of access, opportunity, justice, and power in order to eliminate barriers, recognize strengths, and meet the needs of all.
  • Curiosity: We are driven to learn.
  • Scientific rigor: Our work is grounded in high-quality research.
  • Youth focus: Positive youth development is the ultimate purpose of all we do.
  • Relationships: We strive to build developmental relationships.

What We Do and Who We Work With

Search Institute achieves its mission in three primary ways:

Generating knowledge and insight through mixed-methods research

We conduct and communicate findings from quantitative and qualitative studies to deepen understanding of and reframe critical issues in youth development and education.


Developing and disseminating resources based on our research

We design and deliver workshops, surveys, and other practical resources that help adults and youth improve the connections they build.


Partnering to improve outcomes

We bring together the knowledge that is generated and the resources that are created through our research to deeply collaborate with organizations to put youth on the path to thriving.

Search Institute works with a diverse array of partners to achieve these objectives. All of the organizations that Search Institute partners with are dedicated to improving the social, emotional, civic and/or academic development (SECAD) of young people, primarily from marginalized communities.

Search Institute’s work mainly takes place through partnerships with schools and with youth programs that occur during out-of-school time (OST). We also work with community coalitions, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention programs, faith-based organizations, family-serving organizations, and foster care programs. Over the course of our new strategic plan we would like to explore partnerships with juvenile justice centers and programs, child welfare agencies, and organizations that seek to strengthen the civic development and engagement of young people.

Most of our work takes place in the United States and Canada, but we have conducted successful projects and engaged with youth-serving organizations worldwide.

Under Search Institute’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, our first priority will be to work with organizations that serve young people from marginalized communities. In order to achieve that objective, we will actively seek funding and partnerships that enable us to work with those organizations.

Free download can be found on their website …

Download a summary of our work on developmental relationships, Relationships First


The Developmental Assets® Framework

Search Institute has identified 40 positive supports and strengths that young people need to succeed. Half of the assets focus on the relationships and opportunities they need in their families, schools, and communities (external assets). The remaining assets focus on the social-emotional strengths, values, and commitments that are nurtured within young people (internal assets).

Download a printable version of the Developmental Assets® Framework


Download printable PDF versions of the Developmental Assets Framwork, available in English, Spanish and broken down by age-specific adaptations. Also available are independent translations of the Developmental Assets Framework, created by local community groups for use with the children, youth, and families they serve. These are available in Acholi, Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer, Nuer, Russian, Somali, Urdu and Vietnamese.*


The supports, opportunities, and relationships young people need across all aspects of their lives.


Young people need to be surrounded by people who love, care for, appreciate, and accept them.

  • Family support—Family life provides high levels of love and support.
  • Positive family communication—Young person and their parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek parent(s) advice and counsel.
  • Other adult relationships—Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
  • Caring neighborhood—Young person experiences caring neighbors.
  • Caring school climate—School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
  • Parent involvement in schooling—Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.


Young people need to feel valued and valuable. This happens when youth feel safe and respected.

  • Community values youth—Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
  • Youth as resources—Young people are given useful roles in the community.
  • Service to others—Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
  • Safety—Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries and Expectations

Young people need clear rules, consistent consequences for breaking rules, and encouragement to do their best.

  • Family boundaries—Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
  • School boundaries—School provides clear rules and consequences.
  • Neighborhood boundaries—Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
  • Adult role models—Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
  • Positive peer influence—Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
  • High expectations—Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use of Time

Young people need opportunities—outside of school—to learn and develop new skills and interests with other youth and adults.

  • Creative activities—Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
  • Youth programs—Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
  • Religious community—Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.
  • Time at home—Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do,” two or fewer nights per week.


The personal skills, commitments, and values they need to make good choices, take responsibility for their own lives, and be independent and fulfilled.

Commitment to Learning

Young people need a sense of the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities.

  • Achievement motivation—Young person is motivated to do well in school.
  • School engagement—Young person is actively engaged in learning.
  • Homework—Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
  • Bonding to school—Young person cares about their school.
  • Reading for pleasure—Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Positive Values

Young people need to develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy life choices.

  • Caring—Young person places high value on helping other people.
  • Equality and social justice—Young person places a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  • Integrity—Young person acts on convictions and stands up for their beliefs.
  • Honesty—Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
  • Responsibility—Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
  • Restraint—Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

Social Competencies

Young people need the skills to interact effectively with others, to make difficult decisions, and to cope with new situations.

  • Planning and decision-making—Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  • Interpersonal competence—Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
  • Cultural competence—Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
  • Resistance skills— Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  • Peaceful conflict resolution—Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

Positive Identity

Young people need to believe in their own self-worth and to feel that they have control over the things that happen to them.

  • Personal power—Young person feels they have control over “things that happen to me.”
  • Self-esteem—Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
  • Sense of purpose—Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.”
  • Positive view of personal future—Young person is optimistic about their personal future.


Learn more and download the 40 Developmental Assets below…




Cabell County School Contacts

Parent-Educator Resource Center Directory Office of Special Programs

Family Connection, 1302 Main Street, Milton, WV 25541

(304) 528-5208, Fax: (304) 528-5145

What is West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc.?

Excerpt from WVPTI website…

The West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. (WV PTI) is a non-profit organization that operates the statewide federally funded Parent Training Center for WV, the Family to Family (F2F) Health Information Center and is the Family Voices State Affiliate Organization for West Virginia. The programs and services of WVPTI are based on the concept of parents helping parents. WVPTI, Inc. is committed to empowering parents and families of children and youth with disabilities and special healthcare needs as advocates and partners in improving education, transition and healthcare outcomes for their children from birth to age 26.


West Virginia Parent Training and Information began in 1991 as a grass-roots efforts of parents, professionals and community leaders determined to provide information, support and resources for parents of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs. WV PTI strives to empower parents and families by strengthening the parents’ role.

 Family Voices Logo

Family Voices – West Virgina

West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc. is the State Affiliate Organization for Family Voices in WV. Family Voices of WV is a program that services parents and families who have children and youth with special health care needs. We provide information on advocating for your child in the health care system and refer you to resources that are available in West Virginia that provide information on health care.

West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc.
99 Edmiston Way – Suite 101-102 | Buckhannon, WV 26201
Phone: (304) 472-5697 | Fax: (304) 472-3548 | Toll Free: (800) 281-1436

Julie Dial
WV PTI Regional Trainer Region 3

West Virginia School Health Technical Assistance Center

For resources, assistance, and training related to school-based health centers, school-based behavioral and oral health programs in West Virginia.
•  Directories of the school -based health centers and behavioral health programs in West Virginia
•  Interdisciplinary professional development workshops and teleconferences
•  Resources on the web:
 Tool kits:
o Planning and marketing school health services
o Promoting prevention and early intervention
o School-based oral health services
o School-based mental health services
o Increasing CHIP and Medicaid enrollment
o Quality improvement
o Immunizations
o Increasing Comprehensive Physical Exams and Risk Assessments
o Obesity & Asthma
o Practice Management Improvement
o Procedures and policies
Local centers are at Cabell Midland and Huntington High Schools and Southside Elementary School.


WV Transition Specialist Coverage Map 2016








Mollie Wood
Assistant Director
Office of Institutional Ed Building 6, Room 728
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-033

304-558-8833 Assistant Director of Institutional Transition Programs
Jessica Griffin Office of Institutional Ed Building 6, Room 728
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-033

304-558-8833 Kanawha
Shelia Elliott Pressley  Ridge @ White Oak 2172 Volcano Road  Walker, WV  26180

304-679-5239 Wood, Wirt, Pleasants, Ritchie
Brenda Elmore Davis-Stuart RR 02 – Box 188A
Lewisburg, WV  24901

304-647-5407 Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Summers, Monroe
Caleb “Q” Canton

Northern Regional

1000 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV  26003

304-233-9506 Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler
Brandi Sanders Tiger Morton
60 Manfred Holland Way
Dunbar, WV 25064

304-766-3502 Kanawha, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Lincoln
Brandi Sanders Donald R. Kuhn 1 Lory Place
Julian, WV

304-369-2987 Kanawha, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Lincoln
Eric Sandstrom Board of Child Care 715 Brown Road  Martinsburg, WV  25404

304-267-3309 Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Hardy, Hampshire
Rachel Stewart Beckley Center 4712 Robert C Byrd Drive
Beckley, WV  25801

304-250-6570 Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, Calhoun, Webster
Kim Calain Elkins Mountain School 100 Bell Street
Elkins, WV  26241

304-637-0313 Randolph, Upshur, Barbour, Taylor
Amanda Faulkner Pressley Ridge @ Grant Gardens 2580 Grant Gardens Road
Ona, WV  25545



Cabell, Putnam, Wayne, Mason, Jackson, Roane
Michele Perozich Academy Programs 5 Crosswind Drive
Fairmont, WV 26554

304-363-3348 Monongalia, Preston, Harrison, Marion, Doddridge, Lewis
Jessica Pastine Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein 141 Forestry Camp Drive
Davis, WV  26260

304-259-5252 Tucker, Grant, Pendleton, Mineral
Cynthia Hartwiger Davis-Stuart RR 02 – Box 188A
Lewisburg, WV  24901

304-647-5407 Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer
Jeff Richards Sam Perdue 843 Shelter Road
Princeton, WV  25740

304-425-4689 Mercer County