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Across the Organization

Relationships happen within organizations and in all the spaces that surround their programs and activities. As such, an intentional focus on relationships is not a separate, add-on strategy. Rather, it must be integrated into what an organization already does.

What does it take to become a relationship-rich organization? Our work with schools and youth programs has revealed specific actions and strategies organizations can take to build developmental relationships as a practice across the organization to become relationship-rich.

The “rooted in relationships” is a research-informed approach to cultivating relationship-rich schools, programs, and organizations. It includes specific goals and strategies, as well as a systematic and flexible integration process and tools to support ongoing efforts.

If an organization is not ready to dive into an organization-wide change process, this approach allows leaders to reflect on the current state of the organization, identify strengths and gaps, examine their ultimate goals, and identify what they are ready to do now. This allows organizations to continue to work toward those goals over time.


The ultimate goal is to provide organizations with an approach to become an organization or program in which all youth experience the developmental relationships they need to succeed.

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