the Board of Consultants
YouthHealth USA (or for short, YouthHealth) aims at high standards of excellence in its youth development projects. YouthHealth's underlying assumptions relate to the value of young people as society's most important asset. It is our belief that activities can be devised and implemented that will assist the realization of this value.
YouthHealth proposes a shift in the way the health sector has traditionally seen young people: from being "at risk" and as "a problem to be solved," to being valued participants in the community's efforts to create a healthier environment.
There are four key concepts which feature in our materials consistant with current health education policy and practice:
"Empowerment" means equipping young people to make well reasoned choices together with the ability to put them into action. This will involve appropriate knowledge, skills and values.
"Safety" is defined broadly to include interpersonal safety as well as safety from threatening objects and substances.
"Wellbeing" incorporates a holistic approach to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those involved.
"Education" refers to formal education settings in schools and tertiary institutions, as well as other community contexts.
It is intended that YouthHealth will develop robust associations with other similarly minded agencies. These associations will be carefully negotiated so that a collaborative approach can be devized that protects both the effectiveness of the association and the independence of the agencies.
YouthHealth invites anyone or any agency to work with it to achieve better protection for children and young people.
The mission of YouthHealth is, in various community contexts, to promote among children, young people and the significant adults with whom they interact:
Empowerment through skills of resilience to deal effectively with challenges arising from living in contemporary society.
Education in wellbeing, personal health and safety, career, recreational and social skills.
Support in the prevention of all violence, addiction, abuse and commercial sexual exploitation.
YouthHealth sees its role in helping mobilize wide community support in localized partnerships or associations.
Implementation of the projects supported by YouthHealth will result in children and young people learning social competencies that will enable them to live safe, fulfilling and happy lives in a society where they are valued, nurtured and helped to reach their goals as active, responsible members of that society.
YouthHealth incorporates an approach which focuses on "empowering, educating and supporting young people in their families and in the wider community." This is a constant throughout all our projects, for the benefit of individuals as well as the society to which they belong.
In this context, by "young people" we include those from emerging adolescents through to those in their mid twenties. YouthHealth will from time to time, develop pre-school materials with a view to laying a foundation for programs and resources children may use when they attend school. By faithfully maintaining this focus, we hope to promote the vision of creating safer communities for young people and, indeed, for the whole of society.
Research and Development
YouthHealth is strongly committed to including components of independent research and evaluation in all its activities. The research model will therefore include:
- Needs assessment of the proposed areas of activity
- Reviews of the literature to determine best practice
- Trials of draft material with the market audience
- Process evaluation through the implementation stages with periodic revisions
- Outcome evaluation including evaluation by respected independent evaluation agencies
Government and Community Agency Strategies and Objectives
The activities of YouthHealth will reflect the concern of State and Federal Government about social issues affecting the target audiences of the unit. YouthHealth recognizes legitimate concern about tackling the underlying causes of social problems with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
YouthHealth believes it can make a significant contribution to policies of State and Federal Government and notes that Jubal Entertainment, one of its associates, has already provided funding for a number of initiatives with less privileged or less able youth. Future contributions will primarily be through intervention strategies that enable young people and their families to take an active and positive role in the community.
The activities of the service will be structured so they provide strong support to youth development, building safer communities and promoting community interaction.
YouthHealth will be pro-active in engaging in multi-agency early intervention partnerships as being a resource-efficient way of working as well as a more coordinated service to those who need help.
YouthHealth is committed to forming associations with organizations (philanthropic and/or commercial) having similar values and objectives. These associations are necessary because the tasks confronting us are too large for any one agency to cover. Associations also offer the possibility of working in more cost-effective ways.
YouthHealth will co-operate with its associates to provide high quality products and services.
Social Competency Model
When preparing educational materials and programs YouthHealth is committed to using a social competency approach. This will involve the end users acquiring knowledge and developing understandings and skills that allow them to make safe, sensible and healthy choices and decisions. They should then be able to demonstrate, by action and participation, that they are able to act safely themselves, help others act safely and are able to take a responsible role in society.
Typical examples will include:
- Developing major programs within established curricula guidelines
- Developing modules and resources, which can be used to supplement larger, established programs or utilized cross-curricula
- Offering training via seminars, the Internet, and other means related to the best use of the resources produced
- Combining Internet use with low-priced hard copies, printed and distributed widely to maximize availability
- Co-operating with other appropriate organizations to help them promote their services
- Health promotion
- Training in Therapeutic Storytelling Intervention in association with YouthHealth USA
- Therapeutic Counseling (individual or small groups)
- On-going research, development and evaluation
- Registration and training of approved service providers
- Safe, systematically patrolled Internet zones for children and young people
- Alcohol and drug misuse / abuse prevention programmes
- Personal safety and protection advice and assistance
- Responsible road use training
- Health promotion including the provision of information (Physical health, mental health and counseling will be appropriate contexts for the service to work in)
- Ethnic or other cultural awareness activities and resources
- Parent / caregiver education
- Vocational mentoring
- Anger management
- Violence prevention
Resources produced and distributed as part of YouthHealth are required to meet all of the criteria mentioned above and to be approved in their final form by the Board of Consultants.