Parents, Grandparents, Families, and Caregivers TAG Resources

Ensure That Your Adolescent Receives Health, Mental Health, and Dental Services as Needed

  • Healthy Student Brochure - PDF 
    This easy-to-navigate pamphlet provides parents and students with important medical and mental health information, including the most up-to-date immunization requirements for adolescents. The pamphlet includes tips for dealing with questions about health insurance and medical records, as well as conversation starters on difficult subjects like underage drinking, smart decision-making, drug use, and consequences of illegal activity. (Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine)
  • NIDA for Parents
    This website is a resource for parents to help children make healthy choices, understand the negative effects of using drugs, and find treatment. (HHS, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Facility Locator
    Locate drug and alcohol use disorder treatment programs near you. (HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • Make the Most of Your Child’s Visit to the Doctor (Ages 11 to 14)
    An interactive website tailored for parents and caregivers to provide information on child and adolescent development and help prepare for appointments with healthcare providers. (HHS, National Health Information Center)
  • Make the Most of Your Teen’s Visit to the Doctor (Ages 15 to 17)
    An interactive website tailored for parents and caregivers to provide information on child and adolescent development and help prepare for appointments with health care providers. (HHS, National Health Information Center)

Provide Opportunities to Learn Basic Life Skills

  • My Money
    Information, games, and fun facts to help adolescents learn about money, saving, and planning for the future. (MyMoney.gov)
  • Financial Capability and Literacy
    Facts and resources to support financial capability and knowledge among youth. (Youth.gov)   

Learn About Adolescent Development

  • Ages and Stages: Teen Years 
    Resources and information for parents and caregivers on a range of topics related to teens, including dating, fitness, nutrition, driving, school, and substance use. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development - PDF 
    Guide for parents, professionals, and others helping teens navigate adolescence based on youth development principles. (Johns Hopkins University, Center for Adolescent Health)
  • Understanding Adolescence - PDF 
    Brief and concise research syntheses on the developmental tasks of adolescence during three stages of development (early, middle and late adolescence). (State Adolescent Health Resource Center, University of Minnesota)
  • Just for You Parents
    Online resource to guide parents in helping keep children safe online. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
  • Helping Your Child through Early Adolescence - PDF
    Provides parents with the latest research and practical information that can help them support their children at home and in school. (U.S. Department of Education)

Start and Keep the Conversation Going

  • Resources for Families
    A series of tips for parents and caregivers to help them talk with teens about a range of topics, including alcohol, drugs, relationships, and online safety. (HHS, Office of Adolescent Health)
  • Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse
    Answer these five questions and find out how to improve your parenting skills. (HHS, National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • Help Kids Cope 
    This app helps parents talk to their kids about the disasters they may face and know how best to support them. (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
  • KnowBullying
    This free app from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can help prevent bullying. (HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
  • Talk. They Hear You.
    This website offers a wide variety of resources for parents and caregivers to help them start talking to adolescents early on about the dangers of alcohol. (HHS, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

Be a Good Role Model

Encourage Exercise, Sleep, and Healthy Eating

Prepare Adolescents for Managing Their Health as They Move Toward Adulthood

Make Time for the Adolescents in Your Life

  • Strengthen Relationships 
    Learn about the many ways you can strengthen your relationship with your kids (and their relationships with others) while spending quality time together. (The Search Institute) 
  • Helping Your Child Feel Connected to School: Information for Parents and Families
    Tips for parents and families to help children feel more connected to school. (HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Raising Healthy Kids: An Asset-Based Check-in For Parents
    This check-in tool focuses on 12 developmental assets in children that are the building blocks for healthy development, and provides guidance to parents and caregivers on how to encourage healthy development. The tool is intended to assist in identifying specific topic areas to focus on for discussion with your adolescent. (HHS, Office of Adolescent Health)

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow® and the logo design are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).