Our Approach

Heliotrope works with its clients from a strengths perspective to develop solutions to a broad range of human services challenges in child care, early learning, out-of-school time care, basic needs, domestic violence, juvenile justice, youth development, and community development. We aim to understand what our clients are already doing well and how gaps can be filled.

The name “Heliotrope” has three definitions that symbolize how we approach our projects.

1. A flower that turns to face the sun

Heliotrope is optimistic about the future

Heliotrope uses strength-based approaches in every project.  We aim for what we want to achieve, not what we want to avoid.  We go beyond fixing the problem to creating success.

2. An instrument for making long-term observations.

Heliotrope champions promising change

Heliotrope focuses on partnerships that emphasize long-term solutions over short-term fixes. Together we can assess conditions, develop strategic plans, and create the foundations for change.

3. A purple that is bluer and stronger than cobalt violet.

Heliotrope draws on strong convictions

  • People are a community’s most valuable resource.
  • Recognizing and harnessing the assets of people is essential for positive change.
  • Building assets requires integrity, skill, innovation, and a commitment to excellence.

About strengths-based approaches

Strengths-based approaches provide more options and ideas for reaching a goal.  They complement efforts to reduce risks and meet basic needs.  They motivate growth and change.

Heliotrope employs several strength-based models to fortify the skills, capacities, and potential in people of all ages, families, and neighborhoods. The models we use include:

  • Community assets: The gifts, abilities, and resources of people and the neighborhoods they live in.  Community assets include the often hidden energy and wealth in individuals, associations, and institutions.
  • Developmental assets: Forty concrete, positive experiences and qualities distilled by Search Institute to describe what kids need in the first two decades of life to reduce risks and succeed.
  • Protective factors: A variety of factors that insulate children against the effects of risks, such as youth violence or substance abuse, to which they are exposed.
  • Resiliency: The strengths, experiences, and environmental conditions which allow children and adults to transcend adversity.
  • Youth development: The skills and competencies that adolescents need to successfully navigate today’s world.