Defining Webs of Support: A New Framework to Advance Understanding of Relationships and Youth Development
In Don’t Quit on Me, released in September 2015, Center for Promise researchers introduced the term web of support to describe the collection of relationships that impact a young person’s life.
In this brief, the authors present a web of support framework to describe how youth relate to adults and peers in their lives, and how these relationships provide the supports necessary for young people to thrive. This framework is composed of three key layers, each of which contributes to a young person’s development: relationships, resources, and networks/social capital.
Web of Support Model
In previous research, frameworks for understanding the effects of relationships on the lives of children and youth have primarily focused on the depth of one-to-one relationships or on the breadth of social networks.
This brief presents an integrated framework of various literatures. The concept of webs of support defined here takes into account that youth are active agents in relationships, their relationships are embedded within a broader ecology of relationships (and other supports), and different adults will provide different sets of social supports.
The brief concludes with a discussion of implications and poses larger questions about the use of this framework in research and practice.
The 5 Promises
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below: