Every year, hundreds of thousands of youth exit the juvenile justice and foster care systems, and many will struggle with transitioning to adulthood. Compared with their peers, they often have low levels of education and employment, and are more likely to experience poverty. Developmental approaches such as mentoring can be effective in helping these youth successfully transition to adulthood.
On May 21, 2014, AIR hosted a briefing with U.S. Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott on Reconnecting System-Involved Youth: A Developmental Approach. Speakers shared information about the experiences and needs of young people in transition, highlighted effective developmental approaches to transition from systems, and emphasized mentoring as a fundamental support.
“It is about continuity of care,” Roger Jarjoura, Ph.D., principal researcher in AIR’s Health and Social Development Program (pictured above), said at the briefing. “We have put some great programs in place and we do some exciting things in our systems. Then, we send youth back where they came from without supporting their transition. The evidence is clear—when you do mentoring well, it helps youth reconnect to education, employment, and community, contributing to more positive outcomes for the youth.”
Presenters also included Representative Scott; JooYeun Chang, Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Catherine Pierce, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; and Jim St. Germain, Youth Mentor and Founder of PLOT (Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow).
Congressman Bobby Scott (VA)
JooYeun Chang, Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Catherine Pierce, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Jim St. Germain, Youth Mentor, Founder of PLOT (Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow)
Roger Jarjoura, Principal Researcher, Health and Social Development Program, American Institutes for Research (also moderating)
Join in the discussion on Twitter and follow live Tweets of the event from @AIR_Info using the hashtag #connectyouth.