Youth development programs can take a number of forms, however Advocates For Youth have developed their Life Planning Education program with a strong focus on health and well-being in the young and disadvantaged. There are several parts to the program encompassing everything from sexuality and relationship to community responsibility and personal well-being, and this makes it an extremely comprehensive solution for young people at risk.
Personal Qualities And Self-Esteem
It’s a fact that a huge number of US teens suffer from self-esteem issues so one key element of this program is to help participants to feel comfortable in a group and in themselves. The early stages of the program involve helping each participant to become aware of their own positive qualities and strengths as well as things that they can change or should change.
Many young people in certain areas have a lack of understanding about community values. Some even struggle to understand the concept of cultural, family or religious values and therefore another core element of this program explores where our values come from, which are most important to each of us and how our values can impact on the way that we behave.
Communication With Others
These days, more young people prefer to communicate online rather than in person. This is something which this program challenges, helping you people to express themselves to others more effectively. Communication difficulties lie at the root of many of the problems young people face and this element of the program helps to address those issues.
Some young people are growing up without adequate role models to show them how to form healthy relationships with others. This element of the program looks at how young people can form positive relationships with the right people so that they can get the support they need from others and avoid forging relationships with those who could prove harmful in the long run. As part of this element, sexuality and sexual health is also considered, with reinforcement of safe practices and the importance of consent.
Making Good Decisions
Although we all make poor decisions from time to time, being equipped with the skills to make informed decisions is essential. This element of the program looks at effective decision making and about the consequences of any choice that is made. This aspect of the program also encourages participants to consider their future direction and the decisions that they need to take in order to achieve their future goals. As part of this, young people are encouraged to think ambitiously and to create goals that they can aspire to.
Some young people, especially those who have grown up in the care system or who have unconventional family situations are uncertain how to handle the challenges that parenting throws up. This part of the course explores attitudes to parenthood, identifying the resources and qualities required to be a parent and exploring each participant’s own readiness or lack of it to take on those challenges.
Anger And Violence
Anger management is a key element of this program. Understanding how anger can lead to violence and how to control those feelings so that compromise can be sought in a situation where conflict arises is a key component. Another element of this part of the program is looking at how to avoid or escape potentially violent situations.
Physical Health And Well-Being
This part of the program looks at how young people can care for themselves more effectively and how they can live a healthy lifestyle independently. For teens who have grown up in unconventional environments there may be a lack of understanding about how to stay well, so this aspect of the program looks at the dangers that drugs, alcohol and tobacco can present as well as exploring ways to exercise and prepare healthy foods.
This comprehensive youth development program covers a wide range of topics to help young people to improve their physical, emotional and mental well-being, both today and in the long term.