Youth At Risk
At-risk youths are young people who are beset by some danger of sorts. So the onus of our society is to help steer them in the right direction. It may mean a change of environment or having ‘angels’ in our family, group, or community to counsel them in effective, nurturing ways.
So in essence these youths need protection from the dangers that beset them. It needs more than a shoulder or arm around them. There are agencies, groups, and organizations that have programs to offer support and sound advice. Some strategies may necessitate more long-term care and guidance.
Youth At Risk have challenges facing them such as
- substance abuse, drugs, alcoholism.
- physical abuse, mental abuse, shaming, bullying, cyberbullying.
- emotional or behavioral problems, peer pressure.
- crime, violence, gangs.
- sexual abuse, pregnancy risk, teenage pregnancy.
- mental health problems like depression, feeling brokenhearted.
- family instability and dysfunction.
- being marginalized, living in low-income homes, or low-income communities.
- being poor, or living in poverty or extreme poverty, being homeless.
- learning disabilities, below-average academic performance.
- lack of strong support systems, or positive role models.
- improper values being taught, with characteristics of disrespect, arrogance, thinking money and connections can buy them out of trouble.
- internet dangers for youth.
- lack of proper development as a youth to a young adult growing up.
- lack of beginning training in developing skills to apply in life later on to make a living, to take care of oneself.
- not taught self-reliance or self-sufficiency.
- not taught to care for one’s own belongings, surroundings, and environment.
- not taught how to treat animals, birds, and other species.
- being isolated from the community.
- being let down by the community.
At-Risk Youth Definition
Youth is in a state or condition of
The possibility of
The likelihood of a negative outcome
Social Work Youth
You see at-risk youths affect us all. They are part of us, our community, and society. We must try to keep from happening at-risk youths causing harm to themselves and the community. They need our protection. We must come to their defense. We must provide safety and security for them by providing our at-risk youths with a dependable, supportive environment. Whatever any one of us does affects us all and society. So helping our youths in their vulnerable states is extremely crucial.
We all need to be involved in whatever ways we can. Even if it is just supporting an impoverished family with the basic necessities of life. An angel of this sort can turn the tides of events of another life drastically. It can cause a chain of events to unfold for the person’s overall betterment down the road in their life.
The little deed one does make a huge difference in another person’s life. To see the need in one’s community and help out in any meaningful way you can. For example, helping a schoolchild or minor with their lessons as a neighbor. Think of ourselves when we’re young and we were assisted by a neighbor.
Every one of us has to look at our own little neck of the woods to see ways to contribute and make life adaptable for our youths who face risks. Now we all face risks, our youths as well as grown adults. It is that we adults have for the most part shown how to shoulder responsibility and to avoid risks, or to surmount them. And risks can be challenges that grow and develop us. However, some risks may not be the same as with others. And that is where and when intervention is needed. Proper guidance and counseling will ensure a better outcome in the person’s life.
At-risk youths may not be able to voice their concerns, so we have to notice the signs or red flags that signal trouble in their present situation or may lead up to it. We may fail to recognize the warning signs, or worse yet, we simply ignore them. So learning how to spot these signals and attending to these concerns at the earliest stages possible will mean less effort presumably in the long run.
So parents, teachers, other family members, neighbors, coaches, counselors, should all pay very close attention to our youths. Not to smother them, but to notice anything unusual with them.
As the saying goes: “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child“.
We see how important that is, and so much more in today’s world. Our at-risk youths need us and depend on us, and wish someone will come to their aid or rescue. Groups, agencies, organizations, churches with their outreach programs, help out in these circumstances. If we see the need for help in our youths and notify these organizations and agencies, that will be a great help. We can early intervention – learn how to spot abuses and intervene carefully and securely without harm to anyone – ourselves and our youths. By having the proper agencies with the task of taking these things in their able hands. No one needs to get hurt in the process if we all learn how to handle situations of this nature.
We make life far better for ourselves by helping the most vulnerable in our society. When we help them, we are in effect helping our own selves, both the at-risk youths and the community. and so everyone in the whole community benefits. We gain more peace of mind and security. Life becomes more meaningful for us all.
How to Help At-Risk Youth
Helping at-risk youth succeed when faced with challenges
Tips for working with at-risk youth
Activities to do with at-risk youth
Positive impacting them with empowerment support programs, youth at risk programs, child at risk social services, and social skills training. Thus helping them to thrive in the face of challenges. Building their self-esteem, self-confidence with a positive self-image. Arrange psychological empowerment to overcome mental issues like depression, feelings of brokenheartedness. Make them feel valued and appreciated instead of being marginalized.
Provide opportunities for them having them join worthwhile, uplifting, supportive clubs, empowering groups, organizations, agencies. Arrange mentoring programs with mentors who will serve as positive role models and offer much-needed guidance with proper development as a youth to a young adult growing up. The teaching of proper values with characteristics of self-respect, respect for others, gratitude, and humility. Teach them also the importance of giving back.
Proper care in family life, family counseling, family therapy, sex education, pregnancy prevention.
Assist with agencies to help them with affordable living homes and communities. Encourage lower dropout rates, so they can graduate from high school and enroll in higher college. Instead of being in a state of poverty, provide support and training for initial employment and continual development of skills, career development, goal setting, and attainment.
Involve them in sporting activities, arts and drama programs, art therapy, and community arts programs.
Empower at-risk youths to become active members of their community. Encourage them to participate in community service projects so they are becoming positively involved in their community with civic responsibility. Also bringing awareness and educating the community about the issue of youth at risk. Help them to build an empowerment network to support them further.
Teach at-risk youths of personal responsibility, responsible care for one’s own surroundings, environmental awareness, and the wholesome way of treating animals, birds, and other species
Counseling At-Risk Youth
Let us empower at-risk youth when we support them. We are just giving them a helping hand, not making them dependent on us. We want them to be empowered, able to rely on themselves. So we must teach them the tools to use for themselves to avoid danger in its many forms. We also receive help from others. Actually, we all live in a world of giving and receiving – of community sharing. There is no difference between a donor and a beneficiary.
And we do not want them to feel indebted to us for our goodness. Sure they can show gratitude as we all should. For in truth we all benefit from others’ generosity. We are all alike in different ways. The principle is the same. Give without thinking one must get paid back from the one receiving. The world works in miraculous ways. We receive in other ways, maybe from others at other times in our lives. The important thing is to empower others to depend on themselves with all the necessary coaching and tools to not only survive, but thrive and ultimately support and help others as one was supported also.
Helping Troubled Youth
Make the at-risk youths feel life is a worthy challenge to enjoy and conquer and overcome. It is a challenge for us too. To see a better world all around us despite all the problems. We are part of the solution. We must do our part. Use whatever gifts, skills we have to help out. Let us keep our world around us in order. And if everyone did the same the whole world would be better off for all our efforts put together will make a world of a difference.
So please do not play hero and get yourself killed. The youths who are criminals live agonizing life. They are caught in life with seemingly no way out. Deep down in their minds, they despise getting in these gangs. They see their mistakes now, with the life of crime they are living now was just a dream and somehow they can wake up and it will be all gone.
Helping At-Risk Youth
The thing is, we should do all we can to ensure at-risk youths do not fall through the cracks and end up in this vicious cycle of an agonizing and harrowing life of crime. So, let us pray for these tortured souls who seem to be in a hell of their own. They need our prayers even in their dark world of what has spiraled out of control. It is killed or be killed, survival at its worst.
Let us look at the whole picture. We who think we are not living a life of crime are really and truly affected by the criminals. We live our lives in fear of them. We pray for protection day and night. Our lives are a living hell too. We are all affected one way or another.
So as our Sunday school teachers told us what Jesus said, ‘pray for our enemies, bless those who curse you’. They need our silent prayers too. Maybe they also wish deep down there was a savior for them too.
It seems everyone’s prayers are the same these days, the criminals and the law-abiding citizen, deliver us from evil. Have mercy on us God. Free us from this hell and damnation.
Identifying At-Risk Students
At-risk students characteristics
Resources for at-risk students
Motivating at-risk students
Teaching at-risk students meeting their needs
Teachers, counselors, and coaches should have the training to identifying at-risk students or high-risk children. And what are the high-risk child or at-risk students’ characteristics? This is the first stage in helping a high-risk child or at-risk student. After identifying at-risk students, and at-risk students’ characteristics, the next step is helping to provide resources for at-risk students. Then teaching at-risk students meeting their needs, with the proper agencies and programs – child at risk social services – is provided.
Work with At-Risk Youth
For those of us who have the desire to help and are saying “I want to work with troubled youth”. The next step will be – how to become a troubled youth counselor. It entails working with at-risk youth training before becoming an at-risk youth volunteer. If ‘working with at-risk youth training’ is acquired, youth at risk jobs can be sought as well as being an at-risk youth volunteer. Work with at-risk youth is an important step forward in helping at-risk youth succeed.
At-Risk Youth Programs
Remediation programs, tutoring, mentorship, academic advising, substance abuse awareness programs, employment training.
Our Empowerment of Youths page provides more information and links to organized groups and associations that support at-risk youths.