March 2019Vol. 20, No. 2Webinar: Engaging Youth in Permanency Planning
AdoptUSKids held a webinar for child welfare agency staff that focuses on encouraging and implementing youth engagement in program planning, training, and service delivery. The webinar features agencies that have experience in engaging youth in promoting permanency.
The webinar features best practices, lessons learned, tips, and key considerations for effective youth engagement, including the following:
- Have sufficient preparation and support for youth, such as taking into consideration what is developmentally appropriate, helping youth set boundaries when sharing in order to keep them safe, and preparing for trauma triggers
- Explore ways to engage youth that helps them to have a voice in permanency issues, such as giving youth a chance to be involved in their own recruitment, speaking to and training parents, allowing them to use multimedia to share their views, and public speaking.
- Commit to listening to and honoring youth perspectives.
According to the webinar, for agencies to establish a youth-specific recruitment plan, it is essential to have the proper agency infrastructure in place that includes staff and leadership; be open to honest feedback from youth without being defensive; and try to create opportunities for youth to come together and advocate.
The webinar, "In Their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices to Promote Permanency for Older Youth," is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk_ExMscX7s&t=816s.