Bernadette Kroon PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA
At risk youth is a sensitive but important topic to discuss, and a vital population to support. Through an extensive search of the available literature, a few core themes centered around eliciting change for these young men and women have emerged. The goal was to intricately weave these approaches into a community centered, occupation-based program to serve at-risk youth population in the greater Lewiston community.
Systems change is defined as “change efforts that strive to shift the underlying infrastructure within a community or targeted context to support a desired outcome, including shifting existing policies and practices, resource allocations, relational structures, community norms and values, and skills and attitudes’’ (Foster-Fishman, 2000). The youth within our community are essential, and crucial individuals to our society. They are quite literally, the future. If many of the youth in our community are considered to be at risk, then ultimately, our community is also at risk. The studies reviewed, analyzed, and critiqued, eloquently discuss frameworks, models, and programs, that depict promising avenues upon which society can generate system wide changes to positively impact youth occupational development. Through an extensive search of the literature, these avenues exposed themselves in the forms of community based programs, and theoretical frameworks that are applicable, transferable, and fall within the occupational therapy scope of practice.
Hwang, Alice; Obadagbonyi, Etinosa; and Scherer, Kyle, "Supporting Positive Youth Development for At-Risk Youth" (2018). Thinking Matters Symposium Archive. 157.