RHY Resources

Why Youth Join Gangs

The National Gang Center recently released a video called Why Youth Join Gangs, featuring interviews with former gang members discussing why they joined gangs, and what their early experiences were like in their homes, neighborhoods and schools. The video is organized into many short segments, and also features experienced youth workers and researchers describing known risk factors for gang involvement. RHY providers can use these videos to train staff or educate volunteers, and may consider viewing them with youth at risk for gang involvement themselves.

Watch the full video at https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Video


Helping Homeless Youth Vote

A new article in Teen Vogue discusses the barriers that homeless youth face when it comes to registering to vote, and ways that RHY have successfully registered in different states around the country. The article includes examples from formerly homeless youth, including why, in their own words, it was important to them to vote. The article also explores what some presidential candidates have said on the campaign trail about addressing the problem of youth homelessness. RHY programs who want to help young people register to vote can share this resource and explore processes in their own state.

Read the article at https://www.teenvogue.com/story/homeless-youth-united-states-2019


The Unique Adolescent Brain

A comprehensive report released in 2019 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine argues that the distinctive changes in brain structure and connectivity occurring in adolescence offer unique possibilities for positive development, and the ability to recover from past trauma. Researchers provide recommendations on harnessing adolescents’ abilities, and fixing the inequities in health, child welfare, educational and justice systems that hinder young people’s development. In addition to the full report, there are short summaries, interactive webpages and free social media graphics and examples available. RHY providers can use these materials to educate staff, young people and their families about the ways that adolescent brain development can be leveraged for long-term benefits.

View the report and companion resources at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/BCYF/Adolescent-Development/index.htm


Training Youth Support Workers

Based on a national survey of 254 transition service providers conducted by Youth MOVE National, researchers at Pathways RTC analyzed the training needs of youth workers who provide mental health support services to youth. Differences were found between the needs of peer support workers and non-peer support staff—for example, peer workers asked for more in-person and on-the-job training, while other staff asked for more training on youth culture and technology. Both groups identified trauma-informed care as a high priority for training; the expense of training and a heavy work load were the two most commonly cited barriers to participation. RHY providers can explore more detailed findings in the full article in order to inform their own training plans.

Access the study at https://www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu/pdf/projPTTP-JBHSR-Training-Needs-Transition-Service-Providers.pdf


Staff Development Resources from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Alcohol and Substance-Exposed Pregnancy Prevention (AStEPP) initiative

The Healthy Start Technical Assistance Center designed AStEPP materials to help community health workers in Healthy Start and home visitors learn more about prevention and early identification of fetal exposure to alcohol or other drugs. These materials can be used by staff in other women-focused social or health service organizations too.

Materials include:

Staff development resources for groups, including six Staff Meeting Training Packages, and a discussion guide on opioid use in pregnant women

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