Why are youth/adult partnerships important?
Young people and adults can work together to solve real problems and real issues. Youth/Adult Partnerships are relationships in which all parties have equal opportunities to contribute, make decisions, use their skills, and learn from each other. The key to Youth/Adult Partnerships is mutuality.
How do we prepare for youth/adult partnerships?
Successful youth/adult partnerships don’t just happen. They require preparation and planning. Adopting a Positive Youth Development approach to working with young people is an important aspect of the process. Additionally, youth and adults may need coaching and training to develop the skills and competencies necessary to insure that everyone’s ideas, decisions, contributions and strengths are listened to and valued. The goals and roles of the partnerships must also be developed with input from both youth and adults included from the beginning. What are some challenges to creating youth/adult partnerships?
- Youth and adults must overcome the stereotypes they have of each other
- Expectations, goals, roles, and responsibilities are not clear.
- Only the “stars” are invited to participate, limiting the diversity and perspectives of the group.
- Lack of planning for sustainability
What resources are available?
NRCYD offers training and technical assistance in Youth/Adult Partnerships for youth, adults or youth and adults together. We can also provide training/technical assistance in youth board development, strategic planning, and sustainability. Links to additional resources are listed below:
2008 CFSR Toolkit – developed by NRCYD, provides important information on how to prepare youth and adults to work in partnership to improve the nation’s child welfare system
Making It Work: A Guide to Successful Youth-Adult Partnerships - a guide to creating and sustaining youth/adult partnerships developed by the Texas Network of Youth Services and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services in 2002.
Advocates for Youth - Youth-Adult Partnerships – link to the Advocates for Youth Website publications pages which include a number of resources.
The Building Partnerships for Youth Program Assessment Tool
This tool was created by the National 4-H Council and the University of Arizona to help program administrators and personnel assess their program's current capacity to address 21 elements of youth development and thus make informed decisions regarding future program directions.
Being Y-AP Savvy: A Primer on Youth-Adult Partnerships
Published in June, 2010 by ACT for Youth Center of Excellence at Cornell University, this manual guides groups in assessing attitudes about Youth-Adult Partnerships (Y-AP); determining where Y-AP should occur; and determining how to sustain quality Y-AP within the organization. Together with short summaries of current research and current thinking about Y-AP, the manual offers guided opportunities for applying research to practice.