So Cap Framework Create Hero

Create a Relationship-Rich Climate

Create is the second domain of the Social Capital Framework. It focuses on strategies for creating a relationship-rich climate.

A Relationship-Rich Climate Builds Strong Developmental Relationships

Youth-serving organizations have relationship-rich climates when young people experience the space as safe and culturally responsive–where youth have a strong sense of community and belonging, and are given opportunities to explore their interests, passions, and sparks. When all of these conditions are in place, it is ripe for cultivating young people's social capital development.


Key Principles to Create

An environment where all youth feel accepted, welcomed, and respected.
Young people are able to explore their passions and overcome challenges when they feel physically and emotionally safe to explore, take risks, and try out new tasks and ideas. It is important to create an environment where all young people feel accepted, welcomed, and respected for their authentic selves.

Uses practices to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity.
Organizations can create a safe environment by engaging in culturally responsive ways. Embedding culturally responsive practices (e.g., programming that reflects the cultural diversity of youth, cultural competency training) in your organization promotes inclusivity and diversity, and ensures that all youth feel seen, heard, and valued. It can also help address and rectify systemic inequalities and biases, ultimately creating a more equitable and just society for youth.

Youth and staff feel seen and valued.
It is important that all young people feel that they belong. Organizations can create spaces where young people feel a part of something bigger than themselves, where they feel emotionally connected to staff and peers, and where they feel accepted and a part of the community. This sense of belonging will naturally lead to more positive relationship -building across the organization.

The opportunity to explore interests, passions, and talents.
Young people thrive when organizations allow them to explore deep personal interests, talents, and passions - what are also known as sparks. Youth may be more likely to make progress towards life goals when opportunities and resources are aligned with their spark.

Success Story from the Field

To see what creating a relationship-rich climate looks like in practice, see how The Young Entrepreneurs Club implemented these four principles in their organization.

The Youth Opportunity Checkup

Are you a Social Capital Promoting Organization?