Engaging Family, Engaging Community: Creating a Network of Support with Young People
We know our communities are strongest when young people feel grounded in their identity, have a vision for where they are going, and a network of support to help them get there. These core supports are often close to home - with a young person’s biological, adopted, or chosen family. Engaging the family is a critical starting point but we can’t stop there. It’s about building the full community of connections for youth...and it’s a place where we all have a role.
Over the last several years, Youth Collaboratory has learned a great deal from youth service providers across many sectors about what it means to build community. In October 2019, we hosted a 90-minute webinar where we shared how we are putting this into practice through relationship-based tools and strategies that can directly impact the way programs can help youth build connections and community. If you were not able to attend the webinar live, you can watch the recording here.
During the webinar, we discussed several resources that you can use to support young people in identifying and engaging family and connecting with a larger community of support.
- Mapping Connections Resource. This document that Youth Collaboratory shared provides some context and guidance for implementation, as well as an Ecomap and a Circle of Support tool that you can use to help youth identify key relationships in their lives.
- Activities to Engage Families. Lyndell McAllister from Partners in Prevention talked about looking for ways to make space for fun and entertainment in the lives of families. Attached is a list of activities that Lyndell and her program have tried and found to be successful in their program.
- Additional Resources.
- Kelly Sullivan from Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition mentioned a guide and framework that she uses in her work:
- Kahlib Barton from True Colors United shared on the positive impacts of chosen family. Check out the section on Redefining Family in At the Intersections: A Collaborative Resource on LGBTQ Youth Homelessness