SAMHSA’s Youth Engagement Guidance
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed Guidance — Strategies, Tools, and Tips for Supportive and Meaningful Youth Engagement in Federal Government-Sponsored Meetings and Events — to provide federal staff and contractors with strategies, tools, and tips that better support the engagement of youth in government-sponsored events and meetings. The Guidance includes resources regarding a youth services approach, youth development, youth leadership, civic engagement, and youth organizing.
The purpose of the Guidance is to:
- Help ensure a positive, supportive, and meaningful experience for youth;
- Support SAMHSA and other federal agencies in gaining valuable input and perspectives from youth; and
- Demonstrate and role model best practices.
Given these three primary objectives, this Guidance has been broken into different sections. Three broad goals are outlined in the first section, including strategies for each goal. The goals and strategies in this section are centered on informing an agency’s policies and practices to create an environment where supported youth engagement is a practice. The second section introduces tools and resources for government representatives to fully implement and model youth engagement. These tools were either developed or adapted by SAMHSA staff with the assistance of youth advocates from across the country. They were tailored specifically for use by government representatives who are interested in engaging youth. The third section provides important tips for government representatives to use for successful engagement of youth before, during, and after government-sponsored events. The Guidance also includes appendices that provide tools for immediate use.
Download The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Youth Engagement Guidance: Strategies, Tools, and Tips for Supportive and Meaningful Youth Engagement in Federal Government-Sponsored Meetings and Events (PDF, 52 pages).