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Youth Development

Youth development is implemented through partnerships with local schools, communities and families to promote healthy, positive behaviors in youth through equipping young people with life skills and providing positive alternatives to risky behaviors.  The goal is that youth development programs will result in youth with good physical and mental health; competency at school, work and in the community; confidence; character; and connectedness with family for youth.

The National Youth Development Information Center states that, “Young people have basic needs critical to survival and healthy development.  They are a sense of safety and structure, belonging and membership, self-worth and an ability to contribute, independence and control over one’s life, closeness and several good relationships, and competence and mastery.”  For youth development to be successful it is important that the following principles be considered;

  • The goal must be more than prevention
  • The process is enduring, comprehensive and engages youth
  • Treatments and services go beyond the basics
  • Youth development happens everywhere
  • Vision is required, not just coordination
  • All youth are developing; all youth have need; all youth can contribute to their communities