Youth Engagement Models
The concept of Youth Engagement (YE) models is relatively new and does not have a single universal definition. However, they can be a useful framework for use in various practice settings to involve youth as valued partners in addressing issues and making decisions that affect them or that they believe are important. Models generally recognize young people’s right to participate in decisions that impact them and acknowledge the great skills and strengths they bring to the table.
This type of youth participation leads to the development of the protective factors that promote positive youth development and prevent youth from engaging in risk taking behaviours (Search Institute, 2006). Current research indicates that YE Models offer a variety of positive outcomes for youth, including lower rates of substance use, lower levels of depression, a significant reduction in dropout rates in school, higher academic performance and lower rates of conflict with the law, particularly for youth who have been categorized as “high risk” (Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement, 2007).
For more information see, Enhancing Healthy Adolescent Development, a RNAO guideline that identifies multiple strategies that directs nursing practice in enhancing healthy adolescent development.