Be the first to like this
Children and youth in challenging contexts, both in Canada and overseas, face common threats to their mental health that can be better addressed when researchers, service providers, practitioners, and communities pool their knowledge, resources, and lessons learned of what works best for improving young peoples’ mental health. If these groups continue to work within their occupational and disciplinary boundaries, they will fail to mobilize the full potential of the evidence documented by researchers, the practice-related knowledge of service providers and practitioners, and the local knowledge of communities. The CYCC Network was developed in response to this need and in the summer of 2013, released three thematic knowledge synthesis reports: violence, technology, and youth engagement.
There has been an increasing recognition that youth engagement is central to any best practice or intervention that involves young people. Valuing youth engagement puts the focus on the positive contributions that youth make to programs and their effectiveness. Programs and services that acknowledge the independence and agency of at-risk youth provide opportunity for young people to give feedback on the relevance and appropriateness of the programs that serve them. Additionally, youth engagement can promote a sense of empowerment on an individual level, and facilitate healthy connections between young people and their community. Despite these benefits, however, there remains a gap in our understanding of the implications of engaging vulnerable youth. In order to better understand and optimize youth engagement, different strategies need to be explored that identify their appropriateness for youth living in different challenging contexts, representing all genders and age categories. With these gaps in mind, the knowledge synthesis report on youth engagement explores strategies that have been shown to work in engaging children and youth in challenging contexts as full members of their communities and in ending feelings of disempowerment and abandonment.
Read and download the full report at http://cyccnetwork.org/engagement