Youth-Adult Partnerships in Work with Youth: An Overview

Heather L. Ramey, Heather L. Lawford, Wolfgang Vachon

Abstract


Youth-adult partnerships in child and youth services engage the participants in collaborative, shared decision making, in areas such as governance, program planning and implementation, and advocacy. However, these partnerships often occur in isolation, and fail to engage in potentially useful, larger conversations about theory and research. Therefore, in an effort to provide common grounds for understanding and engaging in such partnerships, we offer an overview of current literature. We discuss definitions and discourses, describe models of youth-adult partnerships, and briefly consider current research on potential benefits for youth, adults, organizations, and communities. We also present challenges and promising practices for adult allies engaged in youth-adult partnerships. 


Keywords


youth-adult partnership; youth engagement; youth voice; adult ally; youth work

Full Text:

PDF

References


ACT for Youth Center of Excellence. (2017). What is Youth Engagement, Really? Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. Retrieved from http://www.actforyouth.net/youth_development/engagement/

Akiva, T., Cortina, K. S., & Smith, C. (2014). Involving youth in program decision-making: How common and what might it do for youth? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 43, 1844–1860. doi: 10.1007/s10964-014-0183-y

Akiva, T., & Petrokubi, J. (2016). Growing with youth: A lifewide and lifelong perspective on youth-adult partnership in youth programs. Children and Youth Services Review, 69, 248–258. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.08.019

Arnold, M. E., Cater, M., & Braverman, M. T. (2017). Rethinking evaluation capacity in youth development programs. In K. M. Possoboni & B. Kirshner (Eds.), The changing landscape of youth work (pp. 193–209). Charlotte, NC: IAP.

Bishop, A. (2015). Becoming an ally: Breaking the cycle of oppression in people (3rd ed.). Black Point, NS: Fernwood Publishing.

Blanchet-Cohen, N. (2006). Young people’s participation in Canadian municipalities: Claiming meaningful space. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 57, 71–84.

Blanchet-Cohen, N., Linds, W., Mann-Feder, V., & Yuen, F. (2013). Introduction to the special issue on transforming practices: Emancipatory approaches to youth engagement. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 3, 320–327.

Blanchet-Cohen, N., Manolson, S., & Shaw, K. (2014). Youth-led decision making in community development grants. Youth & Society, 46, 819–834. doi: 10.1177/0044118X12455024

Cargo, M., Grams, G. D., Ottoson, J. M., Ward, P., & Green, L. W. (2003). Empowerment as fostering positive youth development and citizenship. American Journal of Health Behavior, 27, S66–S79.

Checkoway, B. (1996). Adults as allies. Ann Arbor, MI: School of Social Work at the University of Michigan.

Checkoway, B. (2011). What is youth participation? Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 340–345. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.09.017

Collins, M. E., Augsberger, A., & Gecker, W. (2016). Youth councils in municipal government: Examination of activities, impact and barriers. Children and Youth Services Review, 65, 140–147. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.04.007

Conner, J. (2014). Lessons that last: Former youth organizers’ reflections on what and how they learned. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23, 447–484. doi: 10.1080/10508406.2014.928213

Cooper, A., Nazzari, V., Kon Kam King, J., & Pettigrew, A. (2013). Speaking rights: Youth empowerment through a participatory approach. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 4(3.1), 489–501.

Dawes, N. P., & Larson, R. (2011). How youth get engaged: Grounded-theory research on motivational development in organized youth programs. Developmental Psychology, 47, 259–269. doi:10.1037/a0020729

Dupuis, J. & Mann-Feder, V. (2013). Moving towards emancipatory practice: Conditions for meaningful youth empowerment in child welfare. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 3, 371–380.

Gambone, M. A., Yu, H. C., Lewis-Charp, H., Sipe, C. L., & Lacoe, J. (2006) Youth organizing, identity-support, and youth development agencies as avenues for involvement. In B. N. Checkoway & L. M. Gutiérrez (Eds.), Youth participation and community change (pp. 235–253). New York, NY: Haworth Press.

Gordon, H. R. (2010). We fight to win: Inequality and the politics of youth activism. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Gordon, H. R. (2016). Between radical possibilities and modest reforms: The precarious position of adult allies in youth movements for racial justice. In M. Heathfield & D. Fusco (Eds.), Youth and inequality in education: Global actions in youth work (pp. 196–212). New York, NY: Routledge.

Hardy, S. A., Pratt, M. W., Pancer, S. M., Olsen, J. A., & Lawford, H. L. (2011). Community and religious involvement as contexts of identity change across late adolescence and emerging adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35, 125-135. doi: 10.1177/0165025410375920

Hart, R. (1992). Children’s participation: From tokenism to citizenship (no. 4). Florence, Italy: UNICEF International Child Development Centre.

Hart, R. (2008). Stepping back from ‘The Ladder’: Reflections on a model of participatory work with children. In A. Reid, B. B. Jensen, J. Nikel, & V. Simovska (Eds.), Participation and learning: Perspectives on education and the environment, health and sustainability (pp. 19–31). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Heffernan, O. S., Herzog, T. M., Schiralli, J. E., Hawke, L. D., Chaim, G., Henderson, J. L. (2017). Implementation of a youth-adult partnership model in youth mental health systems research: Challenges and successes. Health Expectations. Advance online printing.

Howe, D., Batchelor, S., & Bochynska, K. (2011). Finding our way: Youth participation in the development and promotion of youth mental health services on the NSW Central Coast. Advances in Mental Health, 10, 2–28.

Iwasaki, Y., Dashora, P., McHugh, T.-L., McLaughlin, A.-M., Springett, J., & Youth4YEG Team. (2016). Reflections on the opportunities and challenges of youth engagement: Youth and professional perspectives. Engaged Scholar Journal, 1, 36–57.

Khanna, N., & McCart, S. (2007). Adult allies in action. Toronto, ON: Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement.

Krauss, S. E., Collura, J., Zeldin, S., Ortega, A., Abdullah, H., & Sulaiman, A. H. (2014). Youth-adult partnership: Exploring contributions to empowerment, agency and community connections in Malaysian youth programs. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 43, 1550–1562. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-0027-1

Laidlaw Foundation (2016). Apply for a grant. Retrieved from http://laidlawfdn.org/funding-opportunities/apply-for-a-grant/

Larson, R. W. (2011). Adolescents’ conscious processes of developing regulation: Learning to appraise challenges. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 133, 87.

Larson, R. W., & Angus, R. M. (2011). Adolescents’ development of skills for agency in youth programs: Learning to think strategically. Child Development, 82, 277–294.

Larson, R. W., Izenstark, D., Rodriguez, G., & Perry S. C. (2016). The art of restraint: How experienced program leaders use their authority to support youth agency. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26, 845–863. doi: 10.1111/jora.12234

Larson R. W., & Walker, K. C. (2010). Dilemmas of practice: Challenges to program quality encountered by youth program leaders. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 338-349. doi: 10.1007/s10464-010-9307-z

Larson, R. W., Walker, K. C., Rusk, N., & Diaz, L. B. (2015). Understanding youth development from the practitioner's point of view: A call for research on effective practice. Applied Developmental Science, 19, 74–86. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2014.972558

Larson, R., Walker, K. C., & Pearce, N. (2005) A comparison of youth-driven and adult-driven youth programs: balancing inputs from youth and adults. Journal of Community Psychology, 33, 57-74. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20035

Lawford, H. L., Ramey, H. L., Rose-Krasnor, L., & Proctor, A. (2012). Predictors of adolescent successful development after an exchange: The importance of activity qualities and youth input. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1381–1391. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.05.008

Ministry of Children and Family Development. (2013). Youth engagement toolkit resource guide. Victoria, BC: Ministry of Children and Family Development and University of Victoria School of Child and Youth Care. Retrieved from http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/youth_engagement/pdf/yet_resource_guide.pdf

Morciano, D., Scardigno, A.F., Manuti, A., & Pastore, S. (2014). An evaluation study of youth participation in youth work: A case study in Southern Italy. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 13, 81–100. doi: 10.1007/s10671-013-9150-8.

Morgan, J. (2016). Participation, empowerment and capacity building: Exploring young people's perspectives on the services provided to them by a grassroots NGO in sub-Saharan Africa. Children and Youth Services Review, 65, 175–182.

Neely, J. C. (2015). Building voices: Teens connect to their communities through youth journalism websites. International Journal of Communication, 9, 2306–2325.

Pancer, S. M., Rose-Krasnor, L., & Loiselle, L. D. (2002). Youth conferences as a context for engagement. New Directions for Youth Development, 96, 47–63.

Pereira, N. (2007). Ready . . . set . . . engage! Building effective youth-adult partnerships for a stronger child and youth mental health system. Toronto: Children’s Mental Health Ontario & Ottawa: Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.

Ramey, H. L. (2013). Organizational outcomes of youth involvement in organizational decision-making: A synthesis of qualitative research. Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 488–504. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21553

Ramey, H. L., & Lawford, H. L. (in press). From programming to partnering: The evolution of youth engagement. In P. Alldred, F. Cullen, K. Edwards, & D. Fusco (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Youth Work Practice. SAGE.

Ramey, H. L., & Rose-Krasnor, L. (2015). The New Mentality: Youth-adult partnerships in a community mental health promotion program. Children and Youth Services Review, 50, 28–37. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.01.006

Ramey, H. L., Rose-Krasnor, L., & Lawford, H. L. (2017). Youth-adult partnerships and youth identity style. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46, 442–453. doi: 10.1007/s10964-016-0474-6

Roach, J., Wureta, E., & Ross, L. (2013). Dilemmas of practice in the ecology of emancipatory youth-adult partnerships. International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies, 4, 475–488.

Rose-Krasnor, L. (2009). Future directions in youth involvement research. Social Development, 18, 497–509.

Saito, R. N., & Sullivan, T. K. (2011). The many faces, features and outcomes of youth engagement. Journal of Youth Development, 6, 109–125.

Salusky, I., Larson, R. W., Griffith, A., Wu, J., Raffaelli, M., Sugimura, N., & Guzman, M. (2014). How adolescents develop responsibility: What can be learned from youth programs. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24, 417–430. doi: 10.1111/jora.12118

Shaw-Raudoy, K., & McGregor, C. (2013). Co-learning in youth-adult emancipatory partnerships: The way forward? International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 3.1, 391–408.

Shier, H. (2001). Pathways to participation: Openings, opportunities, and obligations. Children and Society, 15, 107–11.

Sinha, M. (2015). Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey. Volunteering in Canada, 2004 to 2013. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-652-x/89-652-x2015003-eng.pdf

Smith, A., Peled, M., Hoogeveen, C., Cotman, S. & the McCreary Centre Society (2009). A seat at the table: A review of youth engagement in Vancouver. Vancouver, BC: McCreary Centre Society.

Snow, K., & S. H., K. S., K. J., D. O. A., & M. P. (2013). Aspirations and belonging: Touchstones for the journey. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 4, 381–390.

The Students Commission of Canada (2016). Who we are. Retrieved from: http://www.tgmag.ca/aorg/aboutusref_e.php

Taft, J. K., & Gordon H. R. (2016). Intergenerational relationships in youth activist networks. In S. Punch & Robert Vanderbeck (Eds.), Families, intergenerationality and peer group relations. Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-4585-92-7_9-1

Treseder, P. (1997). Empowering children and young people: Training manual. London, England: Children’s Rights Office and Save the Children.

Treseder, P., & Crowley, A. (2001). Taking the initiative: Promoting young people's participation in decision-making in Wales. London, England: Carnegie Young People Initiative.

The United Nations. (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child. Treaty Series, 1577, 3.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Volunteering in the United States, 2015. Washington, DC: Author. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm

Vachon, W. & McConnell, T. (in press). Allies, not accomplices: What youth work can learn from trans and disability movements. In P. Alldred, F. Cullen, K. Edwards, & D. Fusco, (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Youth Work Practice. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

Wong, N. T., Zimmerman, M. A., & Parker, E. A. (2010). A typology of youth participation and empowerment for child and adolescent health promotion. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46, 100-114. doi: 10.1007/s10464-010-9330-0

Zeldin, S. (2004). Preventing youth violence through the promotion of community engagement and membership. Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 623–641. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20023

Zeldin, S., Christens, B., & Powers, C. (2013). The psychology and practice of youth-adult partnership: Bridging generations for youth development and community change. American Journal of Community Psychology, 51, 385–397. doi: 10.1007/s10464-012-9558-y

Zeldin, S., Krauss, S.E., Collura, J., Lucchesi, M., & Sulaiman, A.H. (2014). Conceptualizing and measuring youth-adult partnership in community programs: A cross national study. American Journal Community Psychology, 54, 337–347. doi: 10.1007/s10464-014-9676.

Zeldin, S., Krauss, S. E., Kim, T., Collura, J., & Abdullah, H. (2015). Pathways to youth empowerment and community connectedness: A study of youth-adult partnership in Malaysian after-school, co-curricular programs. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1–14. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0320-2

Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory: Psychological, organizational and community levels of analysis. In J. Rappaport & E. Seidman (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology (pp. 43–63). New York, NY: Plenum Press.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2017.520

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Heather L. Ramey, Heather L. Lawford, Wolfgang Vachon

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.