Advantaged Thinking is the Foyer Federation's asset-based philosophy. It shapes everything we say and do.

Advantaged Thinking promotes people’s strengths rather than defining them by their deficits. It understands that working towards people’s aspirations and dreams is just as important as meeting their immediate needs. An Advantaged Thinking approach is one that creates sustainable solutions and practices, building for the future as well as the here and now. It invests smartly in people’s potential.

The opposite of this is Disadvantaged Thinking. This defines people by their problems, helping them to cope but nothing more. It limits risk and harm but in doing so misses opportunities and breakthroughs. It doesn’t prioritise sustainability.

“The training course was presented in a really fun and engaging way and I really enjoyed getting up and doing the little activities and games to break up the day. The training was very informative and I learnt so much about advantage thinking that I can take back with me and use within my role. Thank you for a great training day”. Advantaged Thinking Training Feedback, SAHA

Join the Advantaged Thinking Movement

Advantaged Thinking challenges the social injustice that sits at the heart of young people’s preparation for adulthood in the UK. Our systems value and invest much more in those young people who had a good start in life than in those who had a less positive experience at home. This approach and the systems it creates trap those young people in a cycle of dependency and keeps their talents hidden from the world. 

It’s our responsibility to do young people justice by replacing these Disadvantaged approaches with a focus on strengths, talents and aspirations. We can do away with stereotypes and instead gain true insight into who young people really are. 

Advantaged Thinking brings the Foyer Federation’s vision for young people to life by making positive investments rather than supporting deficits. It challenges us to shape a world in which young people are trusted and celebrated, rather than dissed. It’s a journey for a different type of youth charity and social movement. Will you join us?

Sign up to the Advantaged Thinking movement

Adventures In Advantaged Thinking publication

Take a journey through Advantaged Thinking in 10 exciting chapters and explore the origins, theory, practice and impact of Advantaged Thinking. The publication includes evidence for the approach with first hand experiences of young people and members of staff who live and work in Advantaged Thinking services. 

Advantaged Thinking was introduced to the world by the Foyer Federation in 2011. All our products, services and initiatives are built on a foundation of Advantaged Thinking, as well as being grounded in the reality of working alongside young people.  

Advantaged Thinking isn’t about waiting for gifts – it’s about creating them. This publication is our Advantaged Thinking gift to you. It’s a present that’s been shaped from the lives and experiences of many inspiring individuals and organisations. From the 30 years of learning from young people and staff across the Foyer network. Click here to get your copy! 

The 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking provide a helpful tool and framework to hold ourselves and others accountable. They aide reflection and encourage us to grow and develop our practice to ensure young people can thrive.

Each test helps us to spot negatives, try to overcome their influence and find positive ways forward. They can help us to identify strengths in others, connect with new people and build on existing relationships.

7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking
Advantaged Thinking Charter
The Foyer Federation is registered in England and Wales under company number 2699839 at Work.Life, Core Building, 30 Brown Street, Manchester, M2 1DH. The charity is registered under charity number 1040482.
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