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.
Public Awareness About Teen Dating Violence
Though slow to gain recognition as a policy and health concern, teen dating violence has recently gained more recognition as a pressing social problem in the United States. For example, in 2006, the first National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week was held. This nationwide initiative was designed to increase public awareness and education of the prevalence of dating violence among teens in the United States.
With Senate Resolution 373 (S. Res. 373), February 2010 was designated Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. By establishing this month-long commitment to the issue in 2010, the Senate voted unanimously to “support communities in empowering teens to develop healthier relationships throughout their lives; and call upon the people of the United States, including youth, parents, schools, law enforcement, state and local officials, and interested groups to observe National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month with appropriate programs and activities that promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence in their communities.”1
In January 2011, the President proclaimed February to be National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.2 According to the United States Department of Justice, this annual designation will help the department “focus on the necessary and possible ways to identify and change relationships that are abusive, controlling and difficult to discuss, especially among our youth.”3
In response to the recent attention of the Congress and the President on teen dating violence, more states are paying closer attention to the issue. As of May 2011, at least 14 states had laws that urge or require school boards to develop curriculum on teen dating violence, and at least another eight states had introduced relevant legislation.4
1 United States Congress, 2010
2 The White House, 2011
3 United States Department of Justice, 2011
4 National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011
Other Resources on this Topic
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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
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.
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.
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 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).