• December 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 9

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Engaging Youth in Meetings and Events

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a guide to help engage youth in government-sponsored meetings and events. Although the guide was produced by SAMHSA, which focuses on substance use and mental health, and was intended for use by Federal staff and contractors, it focuses on general youth engagement strategies that could also be used by nongovernment staff or those in other fields.

The guide includes goals and strategies for youth engagement and tools, resources, and tips to support it. It also includes sample documents, such as a youth engagement agreement and a youth feedback form, for staff to use in planning, implementing, and evaluating their work. Three specific goals for supportive and meaningful youth engagement are outlined, including strategies for achieving each goal. The goals include:

  • Prioritize gaining youth perspectives to inform programs, policies, and practices.
  • Develop an agencywide culture that is inclusive and respectful of youth.
  • Adopt best practices for youth engagement in activities, meetings, and events.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Youth Engagement Guidance: Strategies, Tools, and Tips for Supportive and Meaningful Youth Engagement in Federal Government-Sponsored Meetings and Events is available at http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA16-4985/SMA16-4985.pdf (7 MB).

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