Youth-Adult Partnershipsand Community Organizations“The goal is not simply to ‘bring youth to the table’ around contemporaryissues, but equally important, to create a culture of participation thatvalues and provides structure for partnership in the future”.- Zeldin, Petrokubi, & MacNeil (2007)
Presentation Contents• What is a youth-adult partnership?• What do youth-adult partnerships look like?• What functions can youth-adult partnerships serve?• What are some of the impacts youth-adult partnerships?• What are some preventive and facilitating factors of youth-adult partnerships?• Creating the organizational culture• Tools for success
Compatibility Commitment among to the Clear set of members partnership roles and Awareness responsibilities of differing for each styles member Combination of youth Mutual perspectives teaching and skills, and and learning adult wisdom Youth-Adult and experience Partnership Training and Characteristics skill Democratic development processes and power- sharing Recognition of adult and youth Mutual values decision- Awareness of Opportunities making other for growth obligations
What functions can youth-adult partnerships serve?
Training and OutreachGovernance and Organizing and Policymaking Activism Youth-Adult Partnership Functions Research and Communication Evaluation and Media Service and Philanthropy
What are the impacts of youth-adult partnerships at varying levels?
Impact of Youth-Adult PartnershipsImpacts on Youth Development•Safety and Belonging•Efficacy and Empowerment•Sociopolitical Awareness and Civic Competence•Community ConnectionsImpacts on Adult Staff Development•Confidence and Competence•GenerativityImpacts on Community Leaders•Reflect on Negative Stereotypes•Advocates for Youth ParticipationImpacts on Institutions•Institutionalized Expectations of Youth Participation•Civic Agendas Reflect Youth Voice•New Community Coalitions Emerge•Responsive Public Institutions
Preventive and facilitating factors of youth-adult partnerships…
Barriers to Youth-Adult Partnerships• Adult perspectives on youth (spectrum of attitudes) – Many adults believe that young people should be seen and not heard and/or that young people don’t have the capabilities to be active citizens in society (adultism) – Many adults struggle in sharing power and authority with young people
Spectrum of AttitudesYouth as Youth as Youth as Youth as Youth as Youth as Youth asThreats Problems Commodities Recipients Resources Citizens Agents of Change Youth as objects Youth as recipients Youth as partners of service “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” -Lao Tzu
Barriers cont’d• Lack of resources for youth to participate in these partnerships – Transportation to meetings – Youth availability (usually after-school hours)• Adults’ capacity to work with youth – May require training and skill development• Lack of time – Youth-adult partnerships require an iterative process that includes critical dialogue, reflection and action
Be nonjudgmental Integrate youth in group and coalition efforts Take advantage of the expertise youth offer Treat young people as individuals, don’t generalize Be honest about expectations Be aware of competencies and capacities of each individual Tips for Adults Working with YouthMake the work interactive and fun Don’t make assumptions Take time to get to know the youthTreat young people with respect Make sure youth participate in meaningful ways Don’t make assumptions Invest in preparation Be aware of differences in personality styles
Creating Youth-Friendly EnvironmentsHigh-end youth Action participation Promote the youth-adult partnership goal of program or community improvement Intentionally transfer skills as a youth participation strategy Foster an internal youth program structure Assess attitudes and determine roles Establish reciprocity of partnershipLow-end youth Ideology participation
Youth-Adult Partnerships:A Learning Process (click text above)
Facilitating Factors in Youth-Adult Partnerships for Community Change Core set of shared valuesPartnership = priority Emphasis on public action Partnership structure Encourages collaboration which delineates with community roles, responsibilities, organizations and processes and policies community leaders
Emphasis on Community Action• Youth-adult partnerships allow youth mobilizers to work in partnership with community leaders in raising critical awareness on issues in the community• Youth activities as a result of these partnerships include: – Testimonials – Community workshops – Presentations to public decision-making bodies – Organizing rallies – Participation in public hearings – Community forums
Creating the conditions for youth-adult partnerships & setting the organizational culture…
Assess readiness and capacity for working in partnership with Be proactive youth, act Gain clarity and and plan for accordingly consensus on the transitions purpose of the partnership Balance structures and Mobilize and relationships Creating the coordinate a diverse Conditions for range of stakeholders Strategically Youth-Adult Create favorableallocate resources(i.e. human, time Partnerships narratives about youth- and funding) adult partnerships Institutionalize Construct theories new roles for Affirmatively and stories of youth address issues of organizational power change
Organizational Culture: Values• Establish the partnership as a core priority• Youth and adults learn from one another• Address issues of trust, power and authority• Safe space for open dialogue and problem solving• Organizational goals are in the “lived experience” of youth• Adults validate youth culture and encourage creativity and self-expression• Programs foster collaboration, not competition
Organizational Culture: Partnership Structures• Youth have multiple options for participation and opportunities to take on more responsibility as they gain experience and skills• There is clarity in the roles and expectations, as established by policy or position description• Youth and adults receive coaching and ongoing feedback• Established strategies for youth recruitment and retention• Organizational resources are allocated to promote quality partnerships• Adult and youth have opportunities for reflection
Organizational Culture: Public Action• The action addresses issues of high priority in the community• Youth and adults are strategic in their methods of articulating the issue and creating collaborative relationships with other community members• The action is organized to facilitate intergenerational dialogue and collaboration• The action places youth in key community roles to ensure the youth voice is being heard• The work occurs over time; patience is a virtue• The work models youth-adult partnerships to the larger community• Organizations continue to monitor successes to ensure sustainability
How will youth be involved in our organization? What do we need to do as an organization to make this partnership effective? What is the purpose of the youth-adult partnership in our organization? How can we set up a structure for this partnership to be effective and sustainable? Questions to consider when creating an organizational culture that values youth-adult partnerships…How can we involve a diverse range of stakeholders tosupport these partnerships? How can we involve youth in decision-making processes without adult staff members feeling threatened?How can partnering with youth improve our organization?
Tools that may be helpful inbuilding youth-adult partnerships…
Tools for Building Youth-Adult PartnershipsThe Innovation Center for Community &YouthDevelopment: Tools and Activities (link)Making it Work: A Guide to Successful Youth-Adult Partnerships (link)Building Partnerships for Youth: ProgramAssessment Tool (link)
ReferencesCamino, L., & Zeldin, S. (2002). Making the transition to community youth development: Emerging roles and competencies for youth-serving organizations and youth workers. In T. Burke, S. P. Curnan, J. Erickson, D. M. Hughes, N. Leon, R. Liem et al. (eds.), Community youth development anthology. Sudbury, MA: Institute for Just Communities, Brandeis University.Camino, L. (2005). Pitfalls and promising practices of youth–adult partnerships: An evaluators reflections. Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 33, pp. 75-85.Klindera, K. & Menderwald, J. (2001). Youth involvement in prevention programming. Advocates for Youth. Retrieved 4/28/2012, 2012, from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/532?task=view.Marx, M.; Finger, W.; & Mahler, H. (2005). Youth Participation Guide: Assessment, Planning, and Implementation. Family Health International.Olagundoye, S. S., & Lawler, M.J. (2012). Building Effective Program Strategies for Youth-Adult Partnerships: Reflections and Guidance on Promising Practices. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice. Vol. 24, No. 4.Zeldin, S., Petrokubi, J., Camino, L. (2008). Youth-Adult Partnerships in Public Action: Principles, Organizational Culture & Outcomes. The Forum for Youth Investment.Zeldin, S., Petrokubi, J., MacNeil, C. (2007). Youth-Adult Partnerships in Community Decision Making: What Does it Take to Engage Adults in the Practice?