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Finding their way


Notice how teen spends their days so you can flag changes. ... Talk regularly - and casually (teens hate 'the big talk') - about the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Finding their way

Teens and Transitions
  • Finding their way

Navigating the Wheel of Life
Learning Objectives
  • Identify significant teen transitions
  • Learn communication techniques to recognize or
    celebrate important life events
  • Learn how to effectively encourage teens to
    explore healthy growth opportunities

Stay Alert
  • Tune in to the things that seem important in
    their daily life.
  • Notice how teen spends their days so you can flag
  • Ask how they feel about different transitions.
  • Note how teen talks about transitions with
  • Talk about important transitions in your own
  • Watch for signs of happiness, joy, stress,
    anxiety, or depression surrounding change.

Voices of Youth
Celebrate good timesoh yeah
  • Talk regularly - and casually (teens hate "the
    big talk") - about the transitions you see that
    they are tackling.
  • Recognize these transitions through small gifts,
    privileges, words, or deeds. 
  • Celebrate with a party, a family dinner, or just
    a special time alone. 

What to do?
  • Point teen toward structured, goal-oriented
    activities where recognition and appreciation are
    built in. 
  • Identify extracurricular opportunities that will
    promote their development through the progression
    of skills or contributions.  Some organizations
    such as summer camps, service-learning clubs, and
    Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have embedded rites of
  • Encourage teen to invest time and effort in
    clubs, activities, or athletics.

  • 1. Self Care skills
  • 2. Community Connections/Resources
  • 3. Educational needs/goals plan
  • 4. Health/Mental Health needs
  • 5. Affordable housing availability
  • 6. Employment options/opportunities
  • 7. Crisis management planning

  • Whose on your side ?
  • (aka whose got your back?)

  • The first and most fundamental task of successful
    teen transitioning is to see whose on the team
    and identify what will help the youth explore
    their chosen path

Impediments to successful transitions
  • Youth who have poor or no literacy skills
  • Youth who fear speaking out/asking for what they,
    because they are afraid of being labeled or
  • Youth with substance abuse/behavioral issues
    (drinking, drugs, or being very volatile
  • Youth who have complex, multiple needs.
  • No supportive Adults

Safety matters(handout)
  • Unwanted sexual solicitation
  • Bullying
  • Substance use (or abuse)
  • Lack of caring relationships with adults and peers

Online Sexual Solicitation
  • 30 of teen girls who used the Internet
    frequently had been sexually harassed while they
    were in a chat room.
  • 37 of teens (male and female) received links to
    sexually explicit content online.
  • 30 of teens have talked about meeting someone
    they met online.
  • 19 knew a friend who was harassed or asked about
    sex online by a stranger.
  • 33 of teen girls and 18 of teen boys had been
    asked about sexual topics online. (Dewey, 2002
    Polly Klaas Foundation, 2006)

  • In one state's multiyear study of gay,
    lesbian, and bisexual students in grades 9-12
  • 34 were threatened or injured at school,
    compared with 7 of heterosexual students 25
    skipped school because they felt unsafe, compared
    with 5 of heterosexual students and 
  • 45 attempted suicide, compared with 8 of
    heterosexual students. 

Bullying (cyber and real world)
  • Putting others down.
  • Playing pranks.
  • Sharing personal information publicly
  • Stalking someone.
  • Committing other overt attacks upon a person.

How can we tell when Transition is a success?
Signs of Success
  • Self-Control and Behavior Regulation
  • Social Confidence
  • Empathy
  • ?

Creating a Timeline
  • A
  • Transition Goal Timetable
  • will serve as a work in progress guide for
    teens as they plan for independence

  • What about
  • Chronic Medical Conditions
  • Foster Youth
  • Adjudicated Youth
  • Disabled Youth

At Risk TeensNeed
  • Proven Self care techniques
  • A committed collaborative team
  • A concrete roadmap or timeline
  • Community resources (medical, housing and social)
  • Adequate financial support

The Silent Epidemic
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of teen
    fatality in Oregon

A Youth Driven Collaborative team that assists
the teen in navigating the transition to
independence is the first critical step to
long-term success

  • In 2003, the homeless population was estimated
    to be
  • 49 African-American
  • 35 White
  • 13 Hispanic
  • 2 Native-American
  • 1 Asian-American
  • and while Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
    and Questioning youth make up only 10-15 of the
    Foster Care population
  • they comprise approximately
  • 20-42
  • of homeless youth

National Fact Sheet 2007 Child welfare League
vulnerable Youth
  • In 2004, 22,718 children aged out of out-of-home
  • In 2004, 8 of teens ages 16-19 (or 1,138,000)
    were high school dropouts, a 36.5 decrease from
  • In 2005, 8 of teens age 16-19 were not enrolled
    in school and were not working. 
  • In 2004, 1,262,000 children ages 12-17 needed but
    did not receive treatment for illicit drug use in
    the past year. 
  • In 2004, 1,444,000 children ages 12-17 needed but
    did not receive treatment for alcohol use in the
    past year. 
  • In 2003, 2,226 children under age 20 committed
    suicide, a rate of 2.6 per 100,000 children in
    the population.

Facts continued
  • In a study of young adults who had spent a
    year or more in foster care between the ages of
    14 and 18, 25 had experienced post-traumatic
    stress compared with 4 of the general adult

Having their say.
  • .. young people today generally tend not to have
    much of a say in society, they generally tend to
    be dismissed. And when youre a sub-set of a
    sub-set, you know youre young and youre gay or
    lesbian, or whatever, then you get pushed aside.
    So I thought if there were more of us we could
    actually achieve a chorus
  • 18 year-old African- American young woman,
    member of a gay, lesbian and bi-sexual support

Interactive Module (15 min activity)

Transitioning youth need strong foundations to
ensure lifelong stability
Kinship Connections and Self Care
  • Work closely to help youth identify supportive
    people already in their lives
  • Help teen find ways to re-connect/maintain their
    culture and identity
  • Identify potential familial/community resources
    when youth loses their way after obtaining
  • Interweave fun and stress reducing activities
    into the planning timetable

Community Resources
  • Library based youth programs can provide
    opportunities for teens to develop positive
    relationships with adults and peers
  • Local churches/places of worship are
    underutilized resources for teens
  • Public community (YMCA/YWCA, Boys Girls Club)
    centers offer numerous services to teens in

Educational goal planning
  • 1. Clarify what the teen does and does not want
  • 2. Attempt to find mutual goals and purpose
  • 3. Create a safe environment for honest dialogue
  • 4. Gather and use facts directly related to the
    needs of the teen to make a sound educational
  • 5. Encourage teen to share their thought process
    to reinforce their commitment

Health and Well Being
  • Create medical and mental health records folders
    with and for teens to take with them when they
    leave the system. Taking charge of their well
    being is an important lifelong skill.
  • Help youth insure medical coverage will remain
    intact PRIOR to their reaching age 18.
  • Check with the Department of Rehabilitation
    (DORs) as their primary mission is to assist
    people with disabilities in obtaining and
    retaining employment to maximize their ability to
    live independently in their community

  • Explore housing options and finances with youth
  • Create and implement a housing plan that includes
  • Help teen develop housing savvy and connections
    within the community prior to transitioning to

Putting it all Together!
  • Support and maintain strong kinship bonds for
  • Listen and trust youth
  • Focus on the positives and the skills that young
    people already have
  • Provide adequate financial resources

How does this relate to me?
  • Remembering we are all on common ground

Casey-CSSP Alliance for Racial Equity in the
Child Welfare System Synthesis of Research
on Disproportionality in Child Welfare An
Update Robert B. Hill, Ph.D., Senior
Researcher, Westat
Young peoples support and campaigning groups
A review and Good Practice Guide Summary Report
March 2005 Funded by a grant from the Carnegie
UK Trust Debi Roker and Louise Cox Trust for
the Study of Adolescence (TSA) 23 New Road
Brighton BN1 1WZ 01273 693311