The findyouthinfo.gov url is expiring on 1-31-2017. - Please update your bookmarks to point to youth.gov. close

Other Youth Topics

Special Populations

Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Commentary: A Provider Perspective on Supporting Parents Who Are Homeless
This article provides insight from a nurse practitioner about engaging parents and children who are experiencing homelessness. The article also describes challenges and successes from work in the field and offers recommendations about supporting families who are homeless.

Engaging Veterans and Families to Enhance Service Delivery: A Tool Kit for Community-Based Organizations (PDF, 52 pages)
This tool kit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Homelessness Resource Center provides tools, resources, best practices, and lessons learned to improve the effectiveness of community-based organizations’ staffing, program design, delivery, and outreach to and engagement of veterans — including homeless veterans — and their families and children.

Family Acceptance Project
The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) is a community research, intervention, and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health, and well-being of youth who are LGBT. The project’s results are the basis for resources to help families provide support for youth who are LGBT. In addition, FAP is developing appropriate interventions, programs and policies; and will train providers to improve the quality of services and care that youth who are LGBT receive.

Family Matters: Homeless Youth & Eva’s Initiatives Family Reconnect Program (PDF, 7 pages)
This report from the Canadian Homelessness Research Network profiles the Eva’s Initiatives Family Reconnect Program’s, which seeks to reconnect youth with family help young people avoid long term homelessness.

Planning the Housing Opportunity and Services Together Demonstration: Challenges and Lessons Learned (PDF, 8 pages)
The multisite Housing Opportunity and Services Together (HOST) demonstration was developed to test strategies that use housing as a platform for services to improve the life chances of vulnerable children, youth, and adults. This brief from the Urban Institute provides an overview of the project’s early challenges and successes as a way to (a) offer insights from practitioners on planning and designing “dual-generation” family engagement interventions and (b) inform policies that support comprehensive place-based initiatives.

STRIVE (Support to Reunite, Involve & Value Each Other)
STRIVE is a five-session family-based intervention from the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention intended to reduce sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and delinquency among youth who have recently run away from home. The intervention is grounded in cognitive-behavioral and family systems theories and stresses the importance of establishing a positive family climate to reduce the risk of chronic homelessness and associated adolescent risk behaviors.

Unaccompanied Youth Toolkit for Shelters and Service Providers
This toolkit from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) was developed to help McKinney-Vento liaisons, school counselors, and other school staff support unaccompanied youth in school and out. The toolkit contains briefs on issues such as identification, school enrollment, financial aid for college, accessing medical care and shelter, and food.

Webinar: Family Intervention: Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth
This archived webinar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness discusses the importance of family intervention, and practices used to reunify and connect homeless youth with their parents; and a model designed to decrease risky behaviors.

Webinar: Family Intervention Models for Homeless and At-Risk Youth
This archived webinar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness discusses two effective family intervention models implemented by youth providers, including one model that facilitates family reconnection for LGBT youth, many of whom become homeless as a result of their families rejecting them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What You Need to Know to Help Your Child in School: A Guide for Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers (PDF, 4 pages)
This brochure from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Homeless Education explains the educational rights of children and youth who are experiencing homelessness and informs parents about ways in which they can support their children's education during times of mobility.

Youth Experiencing Mental Health or Substance Use Challenges

A Family Guide: Integrating Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care (PDF, 40 pages)
This guide from the National Alliance on Mental Illness provides families with a roadmap to actively participate with primary care and mental health providers in care delivery.

Building Bridges Initiative
The Building Bridges Initiative is a national effort to identify and promote practices and policies that create partnerships and collaborations between families, youth, community- and residentially based treatment and service providers, advocates, and policy makers to ensure that comprehensive mental health services and supports are available to improve the lives of young people and their families. The initiative’s Resources section provides presentations, articles, and other documents that offer background information to advance partnerships.

Closing The Gap: Cultural Perspectives on Family-Driven Care (PDF, 39 pages)
This paper begins the discussion about the role of culture when working with families, describes family-driven care from four cultural perspectives, and discusses the role and importance of incorporating family culture, as defined by families, in outreach to, engagement, and involvement of families in care. The paper was developed by the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health through partial support from the Center for Mental Health Services’ (CMHS) Child, Adolescent and Family Branch within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Webinar: Recovery-Oriented Practice: Person/Family-Centered Recovery Planning
This archived webinar from SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy presents the practice and philosophy of person/family-centered recovery planning. The webinar also discusses the range of services and supports that people and their families want to have available to them as they strive to accomplish their goals as well as discuss the roles peers and parents can play within each model.

TIP 59 — A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Improving Cultural Competence (PDF, 340 pages)
This guide from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration discusses racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations and the core elements of cultural competence and assists professional care providers and administrators in understanding the role of culture in the delivery of substance abuse and mental health services, including steps for culturally responsive evaluation and treatment planning with patients and their families.

Unclaimed Children Revisited: Working Paper No. 1 — Challenges and Opportunities in Children’s Mental Health: A View from Families and Youth (PDF, 44 pages)
This report from the National Center for Children in Poverty describes the status of family and youth support and advocacy systems from the perspectives of families and youth involved in the field of child mental health. The report also highlights selected current innovative interventions directed or heavily influenced by parents, youth, and community advocates that (a) strengthen family and youth influence in mental health policies and services planning and (b) advance improved mental health outcomes for children, youth, and families.

Unclaimed Children Revisited: Working Paper No. 2 — Strengthening Policies to Support Children, Youth, and Families Who Experience Trauma (PDF, 102 pages)
This report from the National Center for Children in Poverty reviews current policies and practices to support children, youth, and families who are exposed to trauma and highlights reasons for optimism and concern.

You for Youth: Cultural Competence
This self-paced online tutorial from the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ You 4 Youth program outlines how to incorporate family involvement into programs by understanding the cultures of the families served, examining the views and assumptions held about those families and their cultures, and finding ways to recognize and incorporate families’ cultures into programs.

Youth in Foster Care

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth
This Youth Brief from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs describes strategies for youth who are transitioning out of foster care to engage with the community. AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) — one mechanism for promoting civic engagement — is a team-based AmeriCorps program for youth ages 18-24 that provides participants with opportunities to work on community service projects while traveling around the country. The mission is to “strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and community service.”

Family Engagement: A Web-Based Practice Toolkit
This toolkit synthesizes research and resources on family engagement in child welfare and foster care contexts. The toolkit results from a collaboration between the Hunter College School of Social Work and the Office of the Administration for Children & Families, Children’s Bureau’s National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections.

Transition Age Youth: Engaging Youth in Transition in the Community
This section of a larger article about transition-age youth discusses the investments that federal agencies are making for youth ages 16-24 in such areas as positive youth development, mentoring, youth-adult partnerships, and community service. The full article and subsection are from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs.

Youth Involved With Multiple Systems of Care

Commonalities Across Family Engagement
To promote and support successful cross-discipline collaboration among agencies that often serve the same youth and families simultaneously, professionals must understand the similarities and differences in family engagement across the fields of practice. These documents from the Children’s Bureau discuss the common benefits, themes, and strategies of family engagement to help improve communication and collaboration with other disciplines to improve outcomes for families.

Crossover Youth Practice Model
This model from Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Casey Family Programs describes the specific practices needed within a jurisdiction to reduce the number of youth who crossover between the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, the number of youth entering and reentering care, and the length of stay in out-of-home care. The model infuses into this work values and standards; evidence-based practices, policies, and procedures; and quality assurance processes.

Webinar: Expanding the Capacity and Impact of Family-Run and Family-Focused Organizations through Collaboration
This archived webinar from SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy presents collaboration in a new light: crossing sectors and prompting partnerships with other organizations, special interest groups, programs that serve similar populations, and even competitors. Research, collaboration models, and approaches to building collaboration capacity, as well as tools and strategies for safely collaborating with other groups, are offered to enhance the organizational capacity, reach, and program outcomes of family-run and family-focused organizations.

Webinar: Exploring Interventions for Youth Through the Implementation of the Crossover Youth Practice Model
This webinar highlights protocols and practices being implemented in jurisdictions across the country through the Crossover Youth Practice Model. The practices include joint case assessment, integrated case planning and cross-system case management, recommended court structures, related case management strategies, and more meaningful family engagement. The archived webinar is hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National Training and Technical Assistance Center and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University.

Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare
This webpage from the Child Welfare Information Gateway provides resources and information about serving youth who are involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. These include state and local examples as well as family and caregiver connection and engagement strategies. Child Welfare Information Gateway is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau.

Youth Involved With the Juvenile Justice System

Engaging Families in the Justice System
This web-based training from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Center for Youth in Custody describes specific practices to increase family engagement and introduces the FAMILY model framework, which was developed by the Campaign for Youth Justice to help juvenile justice professionals build partnerships with families at each step in the justice process. This course provides links to additional family engagement practices that research has shown to be effective or promising.

Facility Toolkit for Engaging Families in Their Child’s Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility (PDF, 40 pages)
This toolkit — from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk — is designed for juvenile justice facility and school administrators to promote family involvement in a facility school. The tools are intended to be used to help encourage families get more involved and to encourage staff to persist in their efforts to engage families. This toolkit serves as a companion to the guides: Working with Families of Children in the Juvenile Justice and Corrections Systems: A Guide for Education Program Leaders, Principals, and Building Administrators (PDF, 24 pages), and Family Guide to Getting Involved in Your Child’s Education at a Juvenile Justice Facility (PDF, 28 pages).

Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities (PDF, 78 pages)
This monograph outlines a vision for fostering the interpersonal connections of youth and families so that significant relationships are maintained or restored. The monograph results from the efforts of a federal workgroup comprised of staff from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education in collaboration with Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform

The Crossover Youth Practice Model
This model from Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and Casey Family Programs describes the specific practices needed within a jurisdiction to reduce the number of youth who crossover between the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, the number of youth entering and reentering care, and the length of stay in out-of-home care. The model infuses into this work values and standards; evidence-based practices, policies, and procedures; and quality assurance processes.

Webinar: NDTAC Explores the Impact of Family-Justice Partnerships
This archived webinar from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk (NDTAC) examines ways in which families and justice agencies can work together to foster better outcomes for youth involved with the justice system. The program features the experiences of young people and families who have been involved with the system and highlights their work to increase family-justice partnerships.

Youth Who Identify as LGBTQI2-S

Family Acceptance Project
The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) is a community research, intervention, and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health, and well-being of youth who are LGBT. The project’s results are the basis for resources to help families provide support for youth who are LGBT. In addition, FAP is developing appropriate interventions, programs and policies; and will train providers to improve the quality of services and care that youth who are LGBT receive.

getR.E.A.L
The getR.E.A.L (Recognize. Engage. Affirm. Love) initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Policy is designed to help transform child welfare policy and practice to promote the healthy development of all children and youth. It focuses on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (along with race, ethnicity, and disability) are part of the identity formation that occurs in adolescence. The getR.E.A.L name was crafted as a challenge to public systems working with children. It also provides lessons, implications, and a process for parents, caregivers, and all system-involved youth. The acronym is directed at all these stakeholders—and many others—as a means of meeting the initiative’s primary goal to improve the healthy sexual and identity development of all children and youth in child welfare systems.

A Practitioner's Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children (PDF, 18 pages)
This resource from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers information and resources to help practitioners throughout health and social service systems implement best practices in engaging and helping families and caregivers to support their LGBT children.

Webinar: Family Intervention Models for Homeless and At-Risk Youth
This archived webinar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness discusses two effective family intervention models implemented by youth providers, including one model that facilitates family reconnection for LGBT youth, many of whom become homeless as a result of their families rejecting them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Youth With an Incarcerated Parent

A Toolkit for Working with Children of Incarcerated Parents
This web-based training toolkit from the Children’s Bureau provides practitioners with the skills required to respond to the needs of children whose parents are in prison or have a history of incarceration.

Best Practices Toolkit: Family Involvement During Incarceration and Reentry (PDF, 12 pages)
This Toolkit aims to systematically identify empirical evidence regarding strategies, programs, and practices geared toward involving offenders’ families during incarceration and reentry. It highlights practices and program strategies that are proven, promising or exemplary best practices and provides references for more extensive reading. The toolkit is published by the Institute for Excellence in Justice, a collaborative partnership between the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Institute on Correctional Best Practices and the Ohio State University’s Criminal Justice Research Center.

Children of Incarcerated Parents: Services and Supports for Children and Families
This section of a larger article about children of incarcerated parents discusses the importance for communities to create a coordinated system of supports for children of prisoners and their incarcerated parents and provides resources for addressing engagement. The full article and subsection are from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs.

Engaging Offenders’ Families in Reentry (PDF, 28 pages)
This Coaching Packet is one in a series designed to assist jurisdictions in the implementation of effective practices that will support successful offender outcomes. The series was developed for the FY 2007 Prisoner Reentry Initiative Grant Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance and administered by the Center for Effective Public Policy.

Family Resource Center
The Family Resource Center was created by the Osborne Association in 2001 to respond to the needs of families and friends an incarcerated loved one. The center provides support and assistance to help people cope with traumatic changes, including negotiating the intricacies of the criminal justice system, maintaining contact with an incarcerated person, and addressing the challenges that occur during the period of reentry.

FamilyWorks Program
The FamilyWorks Program utilizes a strengths-based, family-focused approach to enable incarcerated parents to make, mend, and maintain relationships with their children. The program is administrated by the Osborne Association and operates in eight New York State prisons.

Little Children Big Challenges: Incarceration
This bilingual (English/Spanish) initiative from Sesame Workshop was designed to support, comfort, and reduce anxiety, sadness, and confusion that young children may experience during the incarceration of a parent; provide at-home caregivers with strategies, tips, and age-appropriate language they can use to help communicate with their children about incarceration; and inform incarcerated parents that they can parent from anywhere, and provide them with simple parenting tips highlighting the importance of communication.

Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents (PDF, 63 pages)
This report summarizes the research and stakeholder input from the Listening Session on Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents held by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office Of Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention and the White House Domestic Policy Council And Office Of Public Engagement in September 2013 in Washington, D.C.

When a Parent Is Incarcerated
Developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and featured on the Children's Bureau's website, this guide provides information to public child welfare agencies and caseworkers on working with incarcerated parents and their children. Goals of the guide include familiarizing child welfare professionals with the impact of incarceration and providing information to child welfare and correctional systems to help improve permanency outcomes for children.

Youth With Disabilities

Family Engagement and Children with Disabilities: A Resource Guide for Educators and Parents
This guide from the Harvard Family Research Project helps parents and special educators establish a comfortable and effective partnership in service of promoting successful outcomes for children with disabilities. The guide highlights research reports, journal articles, examples of best practices, and tools that suggest methods for developing productive collaborations so that educators and families can, together, ensure better services for children in their care.

Family Rights, Privacy, Procedural Safeguards and Complaint Resolution under IDEA
This online section of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs’ Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center describes the procedural safeguards required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that art intended to protect the interests of families and children with special needs, as well as the special education and early intervention systems.

The Short-and-Sweet IEP Overview
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of an educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. This web page — developed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs’ Center for Parent Information and Resources — provides an overview for educators, administrators, and families on the process of developing this vital document.