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The Family and Youth Services Bureau is dedicated to improving the social and emotional well-being of at-risk young people, and few things are as important to that effort as youth engagement. When young people take an active role in their service programs, peer groups and communities, they learn that they have something to contribute as individuals. And when adults offer safe, trauma-informed opportunities for young people to engage with the world, they can help improve their sense of self-worth.
In this issue of The Exchange we look at youth engagement strategies that challenge young people to take charge of their wellbeing. First we talk to a youth worker who wants to make sure that youth self-advocacy is always trauma-informed. Next we speak to two university professors who have employed transition-age young people as research assistants. And last, we hear from a Michigan drop-in center that asks their participants to shape every facet of programming, from the courses on offer to hiring new staff.
But we’d love to learn more. What kinds of special youth engagement strategies does your program use? Tell us your experiences on Twitter and Facebook.