UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Overcoming the odds with high-risk adolescents: Research and engagement with street-involved and marginalized.. Smith, Annie 2009-04-30

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Research and engagement with street involved youthMcCreary Centre Societywww.mcs.bc.ca◦ Advisory committee formed◦ Survey developed◦ Community researchers hired and trained◦ Survey administered and analyzed◦ Against the Odds -Research report published◦ KT workshop developed and delivered◦ Improving the Odds- KT report published` North 148` Interior 150` Fraser Valley 135` Vancouver 212` Vancouver Island 1172000` Vancouver` Victoria` Abbotsford/Mission` Surrey` Prince Rupert` White Rock and Langley` Sunshine Coast2006` Vancouver` Victoria` Abbotsford/Mission` Surrey` Prince Rupert` Nanaimo` Prince George` Kamloops` Kelowna` Aged 12-18, average age 16` 48% male, 50% female, 1% transgender` 54% Aboriginal heritage 40% exclusively Aboriginal, 33% European` 1 in 3 females and 1 in 10 males identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual` 84% of youth were originally from BC` Percentage of street involved youth whowere Aboriginal rose form 36% to 57%` 1 in 3 females and 1 in 10 males identified as GLB` 40% had been in government care` 1 in 3 living in the most precarious housing were attending school` 1 in 3 had been sexually exploited` Provide adequate services to address needs of youth and their families (especially younger adolescents)` Provide access to substance use, safe and supportive housing, job training and education, and youth mental health services` Assist youth to reach educational goals` Address unacceptable levels of violence and abuse` Provide resources to Aboriginal organizations to offer housing and other youth services` Building strengths and capacities among these youth will assist them to develop the skills needed to overcome their obstacles and thrive.` Protective factors protect against risky behaviour and promote healthy youth development. These  include strong adult-youth relationships, family and school connectedness, and community participation.` The vast majority of youth seek help from adults –through their family, school and support agencies` Youth have a clear and consistent idea of what would assist them to get off the streets` Despite unstable living conditions and complicated lives connection to school is very important in youth’s lives.` Workshop series took the results of Against the Odds: A profile of marginalized and street involved youth in BC back to youth who participated in the survey` Respond to research and discuss ideas for action` Make recommendations to government agencies and community organizations that make decisions that affect youth’s lives` Encourages partnerships between youth and supportive adults in their communities` Approximately 95 youth ages 14-22` At youth drop-in centres, resource centres, shelters, Aboriginal friendship centres and affordable housing units in 8 communities across BC ` Two components◦ Discussion of research findings◦ Creation of meaningful suggestions and ideas for action` Trivia game◦ Questions asked based on the findings of Not Yet Equal“How many gay male-identified youth always felt safe at school”x 70%x 40%x 10%` Discussion◦ Does this reflect your school or community?◦ What can be done to address this?` Decide on priority issues for community ` Make suggestions to tackle health challenges and to promote healthy youth development` Create plans for action ` Made thoughtful suggestions and showed compassion and a desire to make change` Reported that the workshop should be longer` Stayed after the workshop was scheduled to end to continue discussing the results of the survey` Asked about opportunities to get involved with local services or to remain involved with the Against the Odds project.Youth reconvened to:` Discuss the findings from the workshops` Agree on the key points and messages` Decide how messages should be presented` Share what had happened in their community since the workshops` Assist youth before they leave home` Ensure youth in care know their rights` Increase sports opportunities` Raise awareness about sexual exploitation` Provide 24 hour drop in’s` Make shelters youth friendly and safer` Provide more programs for youth turning 19McCreary Centre Societywww.mcs.bc.ca


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