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July/August 2024Vol. 25, No. 6Strategies for Effective Youth Engagement

A blog post from the Annie E. Casey Foundation delves into effective strategies for youth-serving organizations to engage and partner with young people. "Strategies for Youth Engagement" outlines various forms of youth engagement, emphasizing the importance of involving youth in decision-making processes and leadership roles. The post highlights activities that facilitate collaboration between staff and youth, offering insights into the practical aspects of these engagements and addressing the feasibility, benefits, and challenges of the different levels of engagement:

  • Inform. Youth can preview information but have limited ability to influence projects or outcomes.
  • Consult. Youth can contribute to planning and issue-solving, although having limited control might result in inconsistent participation.
  • Involve. When involved from the onset, young people can provide substantial input and engage with staff more effectively.
  • Collaborate. Staff and youth share responsibility for executing the work, and young people build leadership skills. However, roles and authority can sometimes blur.
  • Youth-led. Youth-led initiatives are only achievable when young people are accountable for all aspects of planning, design, and execution.

The feasibility of these strategies often depends on the organization's resources and commitment to youth participation.

The blog encourages organizations to tailor their approaches to fit their unique contexts and capabilities, suggesting that a continuum of strategies can help youth engagement efforts be both meaningful and sustainable. This includes examining not only the engagement strategies but also the areas where youth engagement would be more beneficial and appropriate.

This resource can serve as a valuable guide for organizations seeking to enhance their youth engagement practices with practical tips and considerations to help them navigate the complexities of partnering with young people.

Read the full blog post on the Annie E. Casey Foundation's website.