Caring Relationships: Building Strong Families

The adults involved in a child's life--whether they're parents, teachers, relatives, or other caring adults--play an important role in that child's development. Building a strong network of caring adults for your children is one of the best things you can do to ensure that they grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible.

Spending quality time together will not only strengthen your own relationship with your children, it can also encourage the creation of relationships with other adults. When you give your children the resources they need, they will enter adulthood well prepared.

Click on the links in the left menu to learn about the many different ways you can strengthen your relationship with your kids (and their relationships with others) while spending quality time together.

Did You Know?

  • According to Search Institute research, only 45 percent of middle- and high-school-aged youth surveyed indicate that they have three or more caring adults (other than their parents) who they can turn to for advice and support about important questions in life.1
  • Seventy-one percent of parents surveyed say it would really help them as parents to have other adults who they trust spend time with their kids.1
  • Many adults believe they should be supporting young people and want to find ways to do so. However, they worry about offending parents, being rejected, or not having what it takes to be a friend to a young person.1
  • Nearly 3 in 10 parents surveyed report no support from any source other than their spouse or partner—not even from extended family.Nearly 60 percent have only one source of support other than their spouse or partner.2


1. Developmental Assets: A Profile of Your Youth (Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute, 2005), 2003 weighted aggregate dataset, unpublished report.

2. Eugene Roehlkepartain, Peter Scales, Stacey Rude, and Jolene Roehlkepartain, Building Strong Families: A Preliminary Survey on What Parents Need to Succeed (Chicago, IL: YMCA of the USA and Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute, 2002).