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Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

05/29/2018 – Filling the gap

If you are working with young people as a coach, mentor, youth group leader, teacher, or involved parent OR if you have chosen to draw close to a young person as a surrogate parent, grandparent, or close friend - you are doing a GOOD WORK!

Further, if you are an involved parent, please consider extending your love and expertise to your child's friends who may be in need.

Youth and young adults are often at-risk for mental health disorders. They are experiencing increased risk of physical and emotional abandonment. They are living in a world of fewer and fewer absolutes -- which leaves them searching or too discouraged to search for something "solid" to hold onto

 How can families (and supportive friends) influence and support their youth as they transition into adulthood?

  • Maintain high expectations that youth will succeed in school, employment, and as members of their community. Convey these expectations to educators, to service providers and to the youth themselves. Low expectations are often cited as contributing to limited educational and employment outcomes. In contrast, high family expectations are associated with improved achievement in these areas, as well as increased resiliency in youth.
  • Remain involved in the life of youth, especially during the teenage years. Teens often seek opportunities for independence and peer approval, which may seem to lessen the influence families can play. However, research indicates that if families stay engaged in young people’s educational, social, and community activities, those youth are more likely to complete high school and avoid negative choices such as irresponsible sexual involvement, substance abuse, and illegal activity. As youth are developing their own identities and direction, it is important for families to stay connected and engaged with them.
  • Help youth access information about employment, postsecondary education and training, and community services needed so they can make informed decisions about their own future. Families can guide their youth through the information seeking process, and in doing so, build skills so youth can  eventually manage their own needs. This skill is especially important when considering the fast-changing nature of employment career paths and financial rules and regulations.
  • Take an active role in transition planning so youth can be supported in decision making around academics, career exploration, employment, and postsecondary education. Family members can help youth explore  activities such as career interest assessments, field trips to job sites, job shadowing, and internships, recognizing that school guidance counselors may or may not have the capacity to provide individualized support. Families can utilize tools such as Individualized Learning Plans that map a path to achieve post-school goals, college, and careers.
  • Help youth access networks of personal and professional contacts that they can utilize when needed as adults. Adolescence is the perfect time to begin building these networks since they still have families to support them if needed. Encourage youth to initiate contact with adults in their family and community networks to learn about their career paths and to seek supportive peer networks that result in lasting friendships.

taken from resource