School administrators

A Positive Youth Development Research Agenda

The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs recognizes the importance of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and created a national Research Agenda on PYD that describes the key research domains and questions that could benefit from future research.

AmeriCorps Week 2017

During AmeriCorps Week 2017, individuals, programs, and organizations will honor and celebrate the contributions that 80,000 Americans make to their communities and the service of more than 1 million AmeriCorps alumni.

Resource: NCFY

This website provides articles highlighting resources on research, program strategies, federal news, and funding opportunities.

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Youth

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, there were roughly 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in the U.S., representing approximately 1.7 percent of the total U.S. population.1 This represents an 18 percent increase since the last decennial census. Of this group, more than 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives are under the age of 24.2 This is approximately 42 percent of the total AI/AN population.

  • Nearly half of AI/ANs live on reservations or designated tribal lands in the western states, with the largest populations in Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and New Mexico,3 and 60 percent live in urban communities.
  • The states with the largest proportion of AI/ANs include Alaska with nearly 15 percent of the state population,4 California with 14 percent, and Oklahoma with nearly 10 percent.5

There are 573 federally-recognized tribes in 35 states in the United States.6 Each tribe is distinct, with its own form of self-governance, culture, traditions, language, and community infrastructure. In the state of Alaska there are 229 federally-recognized tribes.7

Sovereignty is a legal word for the authority to self-govern and to protect and foster the health, safety, and welfare of AI/AN peoples within tribal territory. Essentially, tribal sovereignty refers to tribes’ inherent rights to manage their own affairs and to exist as nations. Currently, the 573 sovereign tribal nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, and Native villages) have a political government-to-government relationship with the U.S. government.

Tribal governments exercise jurisdiction over 100 million acres of land, that would make Indian Country the fourth largest state in the nation.8 Tribal governments are an important and unique member of the American family of governments, which includes tribal governments, the U.S. federal government, and the U.S. states. The U.S. Constitution recognizes that tribal nations are sovereign governments.

As members of tribes, AI/AN people have both an ethnic and political status. As governments, tribes exercise substantial governing powers within their territory, including regulating research. Similar to federal and state governments, tribes have sovereign power over their lands, citizens, and related affairs.

As a result of the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government, the federal government is obligated by a responsibility relationship to protect tribal resources. Federal policies are designed to further the trust relationship including offering certain social services such as education and health, and support for tribal services provision. Previous federal policies of forced removal of AI/AN tribes from their traditional homelands, and forced assimilation of AI/AN people into mainstream America have exacerbated some of the social service needs of AI/AN youth.

Although tribes and their governments vary widely, to be a member of a tribe means to share a common bond that may include ancestry, kinship, language, culture, ceremonies, and political authority with other members. AI/AN tribes are working diligently to reverse the negative impacts of poverty, historical and intergenerational trauma, health, education, and justice disparities to ensure the future, health, and well-being of their members.

Resources

Native American Youth 101: Information on the Historical Context and Current Status of Indian Country and Native American Youth (PDF, 10 pages)
This resource provides information on the historical context and current status of Indian country and Native American youth.

The Center for Native American Youth
The Center for Native American Youth was developed to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development, and advocacy.

The National Congress of American Indians
The National Congress of American Indians provides several channels to support Native youth, including the NCAI Youth Commission, the National Native Youth Cabinet, NDN Spark, and internships and fellowships. In 2011 and 2012 NCAI collaborated with the Department of Justice to host the National Indian Youth Summit.

References

1 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes in the United States and Puerto Rico: 2010, 2011
2 Native American Youth 101, n.d.
3 Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008
4 U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, race counted as ‘Native American and Alaska Native alone’
5 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012, race counted as ‘Native American and Alaska Native alone or in combination’
6 Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2014
7 U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs, 2016
8 National Congress of American Indians, n.d.

Tip Sheet for Providers: Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent

Download the PDF (2 pages).Tip Sheet for Providers: Supporting Children Who Have an Incarcerated Parent

This tip sheet was written by youth who have or have had incarcerated parents for service providers who work with them or may interact with them. The purpose is to provide practical advice for how to help the 2.7 million children and youth who have at least one incarcerated parent.

In June 2016, the federal government hosted a listening session with youth from across the country who have or have had an incarcerated parent. The listening session brought together 19 youth, ages 15 to 23, with a diverse range of experiences to discuss the challenges they had during their parent's incarceration and their ideas for how the government could better support them and their families. This tip sheet is a product of that listening session.

WHO CAN USE THIS TIP SHEET? This tip sheet was developed for service providers, who may be staff at youth serving organizations, including community-based and faith-based; advocacy agencies; or state and local government agencies such as departments of labor, housing, corrections, and education.

From the youth: What you should know.

  • We rely on our own inner strength
  • We often grow up too soon taking on responsibilities:
    • Taking care of younger siblings
    • Getting jobs to help with family finances
    • Negotiating services such as healthcare and mental health
    • Navigating systems and avoiding negative attention from Child Welfare or Human Services who might take us or our siblings away
  • We love our parents, even though they have made mistakes. We miss them during:
    • Big events like having the parent there for holidays and graduation
    • Small activities like having the parent there to help with homework and going to our sporting event
    • Everyday opportunities for having parent as a role model
  • We are misjudged by many and negatively judged because of our parent(s) or our parent’s actions
  • We are sometimes told we will turn out like our parent(s) and we are constantly fighting against and running from that judgement
  • We have different experiences than other youth whose parent is absent for another reason like divorce:
    • Not being able to pick up the phone and talk to our parent any time we want
    • Not being able to hug our parent during a visit
    • Being judged differently and feeling shame and stigma because of those judgments
  • We have different experiences even from each other:
    • Living arrangements before the incarceration
    • Relationship status with our parent before the incarceration
    • Being told the truth or lies about the incarceration
    • Involvement with child welfare during the incarceration
    • Changes in financial stability during the incarceration
  • We are not different from other youth in that we are young people, too, with the same needs and wants:
    • To be loved
    • To have support
    • To be successful
    • To have friends
  • We do not have control over the situation, which is difficult:
    • We don’t know what to expect with the incarceration process or when visiting our parent in a facility
    • We don’t know with any certainty when we will be able to talk to or see our parent again

From the youth: Changes we would like to see.

  • Increased opportunities to visit. Our parents are often incarcerated in facilities that are far away. Whenever safe and appropriate we would like for courts and correctional agencies to place our incarcerated parents in facilities closer to family. If that’s not possible, courts, corrections, and community-based organizations could consider providing additional transportation assistance to make visitation easier.
  • More frequent and less expensive opportunities to communicate. The cost of phone calls from prison can be too expensive, making it difficult, or even impossible, for us to communicate with our parents. Corrections could consider reducing these costs and allowing for longer calls. Organizations serving youth could consider ways to help pay for or share the costs of calls, which would allow us to talk to our parents more often.
  • Better communication between corrections and schools. We would like our parents to have the opportunity to participate in parent-teacher conferences. Corrections and courts should consider allowing flexibility for our parents to participate by phone or video technology, which the schools could help coordinate. Additionally, we often receive unexcused absences from school for going to visit our parents during the school day, even when we do not have other options. Schools could consider providing excused absences, and corrections could consider providing proof of visitation.
  • Improved sharing of information about our parents. During the arrest, pretrial, trial, incarceration, and reentry processes, our parents are frequently moved around without letting us know. Courts, corrections, and probation should consider ways to ensure that we and our families have the most up to date information possible on the location of our parents.
  • Better understanding about the impact of mandatory reporting rules. We frequently choose not to share personal details about our parents or our lives with people or organizations who we fear will report that information to child welfare. Youth serving organizations should be aware of our hesitations and find safe, comfortable ways for us to share what is happening in our lives.
  • Friendlier interactions when visiting. We often feel like we are the ones who have done something wrong when we go to visit our incarcerated parents. Most prisons have strict rules about who can visit, the number of visitors, what we can bring, what we can wear, etc. These rules can be unclear, cause our families stress, and sometimes even result in a cancelled visit. Youth serving organizations can help us understand the rules and prepare for our visit. Corrections can make the rules easier to find and provide training for staff that reminds them that family visits are supposed to be a positive experience for all.

» Return to the overview of the Listening Session Summary page.
» Return to Youth Perspectives page.

The Crisis of Connection for Adolescent Boys: A TAG Talk

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health, in collaboration with the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs and New York University Professor of Developmental Psychology Niobe Way developed a video and two discussion guides about the crisis of connection, its impact on the health and well-being of adolescent boys, and the implications for their work with teens.

Reports: Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Evaluation Findings (FY 2010-2014)

These reports illustrate the findings of 41 rigorous evaluations conducted through the OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program.

HHS and DOJ host listening session with youth who have an incarcerated parent

The effects of incarceration are felt far beyond prison walls: children, families, and communities also experience the consequences of incarceration.

Youth Formerly in Foster Care Help Create Federal Foster Care Transition Toolkit

Being a youth in foster care can be difficult. Some youth in foster care often experience trauma before entering into the foster care system. Once youth enter foster care, there are often a lack sufficient role models and resources are either scarce or spread out. Gaining access to information about even the simplest things, like opening a bank account, can be a real hurdle. That’s why the recently released Foster Care Transition Toolkit is so important.

P3 Round 2 Bidders Conference

On May 9, 2016, representatives from Federal agencies presented details of the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the second round (FY 2015) of Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth (P3), including application requirements and selection criteria for potential applicants.

Watch the webinar recording:

Download the presentation slides (PDF, 71 pages).

Download the transcript (PDF, 20 pages).

Please note: Since this presentation is pre-recorded, there was not a live Q&A session; however, you can still submit questions. While registering for the webinar, you were able to submit questions about P3 or the current Notice Inviting Applications. We have used these queries to develop and post responses to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page. If you have remaining questions after viewing the webinar recording, you are encouraged to email disconnectedyouth@ed.gov, so that we can provide answers, as appropriate. Additional information may be made available at a subsequent date, depending on the questions received. You will be able to find any new information on http://youth.gov/P3.