Social development is about improving the well-being of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. The success of society is linked to the well-being of each and every citizen.
Social development means investing in people. It requires the removal of barriers so that all citizens can journey toward their dreams with confidence and dignity. It is about refusing to accept that people who live in poverty will always be poor. It is about helping people so they can move forward on their path to self-sufficiency.
Every New Brunswicker must have the opportunity to grow, develop their own skills and contribute to their families and communities in a meaningful way. If they are healthy, well educated and trained to enter the workforce and are able to make a decent wage they are better equipped to meet their basic needs and be successful. Their families will also do well and the whole of society will benefit.
Learning must start early in life. By investing in early learning initiatives, we can ensure a greater degree of success amongst our citizens. Making sure that children get a good start in their education goes a long way to increasing their success later in life.
An affordable, high quality child care system is also needed for society to succeed. When people know that their children are being well taken care of, they can be more productive in their jobs. When employers have good employees their business is more likely to succeed. When businesses succeed, the economic situation of a community is improved. An investment today in good child care programs can provide many long term economic benefits for society.
In addition, a safe affordable place to live is very important in helping people achieve self-sufficiency. It is the focus of family life; where families can live safely, nurture their children, build community relationships and care for aging parents. Without a decent place to live, it is difficult to function as a productive member of society .
Other investments in people that contribute to the economic prosperity of society include youth programs and services, post-secondary education, job creation, promotion of healthy, active living and safe and secure communities
To reduce poverty we need to take a social development approach and invest in our people. By investing in people we can reduce poverty. We need to go beyond looking at government to find ways to develop our most valuable resources, our people. We need to share responsibility with community organizations, businesses, universities and municipalities in the task of improving the well-being of all New Brunswickers and preventing and reducing poverty
Social development can actually impact many of the other forms of development a child experiences. A child’s ability to interact in a healthy way with the people around her can impact everything from learning new words as a toddler, to being able to resist peer pressure as a high school student, to successfully navigating the challenges of adulthood. Healthy social development can help your child:
- Develop language skills. An ability to interact with other children allows for more opportunities to practice and learn speech and language skills. This is a positive cycle, because as communication skills improve, a child is better able to relate to and react to the people around him.
- Build self esteem. Other children provide a child with some of her most exciting and fun experiences. When a young child is unable to make friends it can be frustrating or even painful. A healthy circle of friends reinforces a child’s comfort level with her own individuality.
- Strengthen learning skills. In addition to the impact social development can have on general communication skills, many researchers believe that having healthy relationships with peers (from preschool on up) allows for adjustment to different school settings and challenges. Studies show that children who have a hard time getting along with classmates as early as preschool are more likely to experience later academic difficulties.
- Resolve conflicts. Stronger self esteem and better language skills can ultimately lead to a better ability to resolve differences with peers.
- Establish positive attitude. A positive attitude ultimately leads to better relationships with others and higher levels of self confidence.