Young people with personal experiences in foster care and adoption are an invaluable resource for evaluating the effectiveness of the policies and resources established to aid in their long-term success and the success of the young people who follow behind them in the system.
Youth networks are a dynamic platform for youth engagement that can serve to unite individuals of varied backgrounds toward a common goal. These networks can function in a number of different ways and typically address a variety of needs for their members.
How it works
Some youth networks are created for the sole purpose of sharing resources and life skills training with a closed cohort of youth served by a specific program.
Others offer a broader enrollment and rely upon the voluntary participation of members to advocate for policy and practice changes based on shared goals.
Whether a network is designed to achieve advocacy goals or support other young people, members of youth networks also report numerous personal gains as a result of their involvement.
How to Start
There are a variety of youth support and advocacy networks, although each group is different. Some options include:
- peer-to-peer mentoring
- traditional mentoring
- life-skills training
Anyone who wants to start or enhance a youth network needs to decide what type of group is right for them and their community. The first is deciding what your goal is.