Provides a user-friendly guide for what to do and how to communicate about the harmful effects of illicit drugs and alcohol to children from elementary through high school. Organized in 6 major sections: 1) How This Book Will Help You? 2) What Substances Do Kids Use? 3) Why Do Kids Use Drugs? 4) How Do I Teach My Child About Drugs? 5) What If I Think My Child is Using Drugs? 6) Resources.
You are here
Youth Guided and Family Driven
Youth guided and family driven means that SS/HS programs and organizations ensure that the youth and families they serve are full partners in all aspects of service delivery. As such, youth and families should have a primary decision-making role in their care, beginning in the planning phase when policies and procedures are developed in the nation and in their communities, States, tribes, and territories. Youth and families should also be involved in implementation activities, such as choosing culturally and linguistically competent supports, services, and providers; setting goals; designing, implementing, and evaluating programs; monitoring outcomes; and partnering in funding decisions. Youth-centered programs strive to empower youth so they are engaged; know that change is possible; and feel safe, cared for, valued, useful, and spiritually grounded.
SS/HS programs and organizations must engage, support, and ensure that youth and families with lived experiences are directly involved in designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating programs and services1. In youth-guided and family-driven systems, youth and family members are provided needed training and support and accurate, understandable, and complete information necessary to set goals, make informed choices about services, and partner in decision-making that impacts children and families. Families and family-run organizations provide peer supports, resources, and education to increase parents’ skills and connections and strengthen the family voice. When family members and youth are engaged, supported, and respected as equal partners, their “voice” and lived experiences add valuable perspectives in planning, implementation, and monitoring which result in shared accountability for outcomes.
“Through the SS/HS Initiative, the [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] has found that shared decision making and strong partnerships that include youth and families are essential for creating successful and sustainable solutions that address youth violence and support healthy childhood development2” Current SS/HS grantees are actively seeking the help of young people and families by inviting them to participate in partnerships in local communities. As valued partners, their voices have helped to identify (a) programs and services that are needed in schools and communities and (b) areas with gaps in services.
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2013). Safe Schools/Healthy Students State Planning, Local Education Agency, and Local Community Cooperative Agreements (Initial Announcement). Request for Applications (RFA) No.: SM-13-006. Washington, DC: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/2013/sm-13-006.pdf
 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Safe Schools/Healthy Students State Planning, Local Education Agency, and Local Community Cooperative Agreements (see p. 8)
Discusses the importance of positive youth development, community building, and youth involvement. Provides information about how you can put positive youth development principles into practice.
Describes four areas of work that are central to developing a whole-school youth development approach and includes hyperlinks to tools that can be modified and adapted to support efforts to pursue a youth development approach in a particular setting.
Summarizes a survey of American middle and high school students who were missing school and asked them why they skip and what they perceive the consequences to be.
Contains practical advice for engaging youth in community policy and decision-making groups.
Lists and describes resources that address youth engagement in community change, education reform, and advocacy.
This manual was designed to help readers learn about youth-adult partnerships, establish and communicate one's own point of view about youth-adult partnerships, and build consensus on key youth-adult partnership issues with other stakeholders.
Provides information from national leadership group of teens and young adults advocating for change in the mental health system and other youth-serving systems across the country.
Includes helpful tips for successfully engaging youth in meetings and events.
Offers step-by-step guidance and examples for creating digital stories.