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Added 23 May 2022

Strengths-Based or Asset-Based Approaches focus on the positive qualities of the people we work alongside, the organisation and the local community. Rather than addressing the ‘problems’ of the individual, they look to get to know the person as a whole to identify strengths and goals that the person wishes to work towards. They also place the individual at the heart of the process, allowing them to direct and define their own support.

Many organisations are interested in the idea of being strengths-based or asset-based but it's not always clear what it means to work in this way. As being strengths-based is individual to each person and each organisation, we can’t provide a blueprint for how to do this – but we can provide a guide on how to start and give an overview of where the journey might take you.

This Toolkit was produced in partnership with Expert Link, Colin Falconer from Inspire Chilli, Leeds City Council and Concrete alongside the 400 people who have shared their experiences of what it means to work in a strengths-based way. 

Please get in touch if you would like to suggest additions to the page: vicky.album@homelesslink.org.uk

Strengths-based working in practice

To learn more about strengths-based working in practice listen to this recording of Sam Abram and Charlie Brookes from the Brick in Wigan describing their work as Asset Coaches.

Read more about our partnerships with Concrete and Leeds City Council as we worked together to learn more about embedding aspects of strengths-based approaches in practice

You can also learn more about how Advantaged Thinking has been working across the Foyer Federation and beyond in this publication from the Foyer Federation in association with our partner Colin Falconer from Inspire Chilli, Adventures in Advantaged Thinking.

Strengths meetings

Learn more about how to apply strengths-based working in this recording of our learning event from Golden Key in Bristol on their approach to Strengths Meetings. You can access their full Toolkit.

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A Strengths-based Approach is a way of working that focuses on peoples’ strengths, interests and goals and that views them as equal partners in their own support. It involves re-framing the work of organisations to focus on an individual’s identified goals, with a considerable focus on building positive relationships between people working in organisations and those accessing them. 

The animation was produced by Digital Finch and based on insights and feedback from experts by experience. It focuses on the story of a woman called Jade and how Grace (her Coach) and the wider community work with her as she identifies her strengths and goals. It shows how the four themes of a Strengths-based-Approach – Strengths, Relationships, Consistency and Community – work in practice, following Jade as she builds on her pre-existing skills and starts to see herself in a new light. 

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Vicky Album

National Practice Development Project Manager (Strengths-based Practice Lead)