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THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT APPROACH TO ZEALOUS ADVOCACY. The Youth Advocacy Project Committee for Public Counsel Services Roxbury, Massachusetts May 4, 2009. Special Thanks. Dr. Ann Tobey and Dr. Penny Haney Laurie Jo Wallace and Mo Barboza of the Medical Foundation

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the youth development approach to zealous advocacy

THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT APPROACH TO ZEALOUS ADVOCACY

The Youth Advocacy Project

Committee for Public Counsel Services

Roxbury, Massachusetts

May 4, 2009

special thanks
Special Thanks
  • Dr. Ann Tobey and Dr. Penny Haney
  • Laurie Jo Wallace and Mo Barboza of the Medical Foundation
  • Glenn Daly, Director of Youth Development Massachusetts EOHHS
  • Judge Jay Blitzman and all the staff of the Youth Advocacy Project
  • Katie Rollins, Tufts University
starting the conversation
Starting the Conversation
  • Explorers?
  • Advocacy Presentation
    • Broad brush
    • Exceptions
  • Not New Knowledge, New Organization
goals
Goals
  • YDA
    • What is it?
    • Why should we use it? (What do we do now?)
    • How do we use it?
slide6

Youth Development Approach

Practical Definition

A simple set of concepts and strategies that help adults better understand and support youth in developing the personal, social, academic and citizenship competencies necessary for adolescence and adult life based on their capacities, strengths, and formative needs.

Borrowed from The Medical Foundation, BEST Initiative

context is everything
Context is Everything
  • The Adversarial System
  • Adult Corrections
  • Court Involved Youth
yda in an adversarial system

Legal Team

Litigation

- Zealous Advocacy

- Youth Development Approach

- Nurturing Adult

Short Term

Best Possible Legal Outcome

- Care & Support

- Expectations

- Participation

Long Term

Problem Free Outcomes

YDA Domains

Health

Safety

Relationships

Education/Work

Community

Achievement Outcomes

Developmental Outcomes

YDA in an Adversarial System

Best Possible Life Outcomes

the adversarial system
The Adversarial System
  • Truth Seeking and Dispute Resolution
    • Winning v. Understanding
  • Impartial Decision Makers
    • Judges
    • Juries
  • Parties
    • Those with Rights
    • Those with an Interest
chronically court involved adults
Chronically Court Involved Adults
  • Education
  • Wealth/Career/Employment
  • Family circumstances
  • Mental Health
  • Alcohol/Substance use
  • Place in the Community
court involved adults
Court Involved Adults
  • Problem Solving skills?
  • Social Competence Skills?
  • Sense of the Future?
  • Autonomy?
youth in juvenile court
Youth in Juvenile Court
  • School?
  • Money?
  • Out of School Time?
  • Family?
  • Health and Health Care?
  • Safety?
  • Community engagement?
adolescents
Adolescents
  • Problem Solving skills?
  • Social Competence Skills?
  • Sense of the Future?
  • Autonomy?
the current juvenile court approach
The Current Juvenile Court Approach
  • Decision makers often rely upon a carrot and stick approach
  • Court processes often focus on the “accountability” of each individual child and sees all behavior as essentially willful
  • Adults attempt to cure bad behavior by unilaterally imposing our will
positive youth outcomes

Kids who can do well

will do well

Positive Youth Outcomes

Problem FreeOutcomes

Achievement Developmental

OutcomesOutcomes

definitions of outcomes
Definitions of Outcomes
  • Problem Free Outcomes
    • Not having a negative occurrence (e.g., no arrests)
  • Achievement Outcomes
    • Positive successes (e.g., honor roll, learning a skill)
  • Developmental Outcomes
    • Overall healthy development
achievement problem free prevention
Not doing drugs

Not stealing a car

Not getting pregnant

Not joining a gang

AchievementProblem-free/Prevention

Examples of Outcomes

  • High School Diploma
  • Job
  • Passing the MCAS
  • Earning a certificate of completion
examples of developmental outcomes
Areas of Ability

Physical Health

Mental Health

Intellectual Ability

Employability

Civic & Social Ability

Cultural Ability

Examples of Developmental Outcomes

Aspects of Identity

  • Safety & Structure
  • Self-Worth
  • Mastery & Future
  • Belonging & Membership
  • Responsibility & Autonomy
  • Self-Awareness & Spirituality
adolescent development

Cognitive/intellectual

formal operations, think systematically about possibilities; abstract thought; anticipate consequences; executive functioning; flexibility

Physical/physiological

brain dev’l; puberty

Adolescent Development

Intrapersonal

Development of identity separate from family; body image; sense of competence

Spiritual/Moral

consider complexity of moral issues; meanings/beliefs

Emotional/psychological

emotional regulation

Social/Interpersonal

Conformity to expectations and influences of peers; social skills Able to hold multiple perspectives

slide21

Adolescent Brain

Development

  • Adolescence is key stage of brain development
  • intense overproduction and pruning of gray matter  thinking
  • myelination of white matter  precision and efficiency
  • FRONTAL LOBE DEVELOPMENT
    • undergoes more change during adolescence than any other stage
    • last part of the brain to develop
    • executive functioning, adult-like vs. emotional reasoning

AdamOrtiz. Adolescence, Brain Development and Legal Culpability. American Bar Association, Juvenile Justice Center.

challenges of adolescent development
Challenges of Adolescent Development
  • Time Perspective
  • Risk Taking/Sensation Seeking
  • Egocentrism
  • Magical/Wishful Thinking
  • Impulsivity
the constellation of youth development needs
The Constellation of Youth Development Needs

Independence

Usefulness

Competence

Belonging

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

all youth will find ways to
All Youth Will Find Ways to:
  • Meet their basic needs
  • Build skills and values
  • Use their skills, talents, energies and time in ways that make them feel good and powerful

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

slide25

Why is Meeting Youth Needs so Important?

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

if youth needs are met in positive ways
If Youth Needs are Met in Positive Ways

Youth develop these characteristics:

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

if youth needs are met in negative ways
If Youth Needs are Met in Negative Ways

Unmet needs can become defining factors in the lives of youth...

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

if need is unmet
If Need is Unmet

Some youth retreat or give up on getting needs met...

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

slide29

The Circle of

Meeting Youth Needs

  • Youth characteristics and behaviors impact whether they will get needs met in new situations.
  • Adult responses to needs impact development of characteristics and behaviors in youth.

Behavior or Characteristic Impacts Type of Response

Need Met

or Unmet

Response - Increases Characteristic or Behavior

Cathann A. Kress (Director, Youth Development. Families 4-H and Nutrition, CSREES, USDA), citing Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M. & Van Bockern, S. (December 2001). Reclaiming Youth at Risk. National Education Service.

characteristics of court involved population
Characteristics of Court Involved Population
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Poverty and poor schools
  • Lack of out of school time support
  • Problem relationships
  • Safety
  • Isolation/alienation
paradigm shift
Paradigm Shift
  • Valuing and supporting young people
  • Youth not defined by their problems
  • Youth are potential resources
  • Youth need to be at the table
  • Youth need assets to develop positively
  • Adults are responsible for positive youth development
the new paradigm
The New Paradigm
  • The Youth Development Approach recognizes that children who can do well, will do well.
  • If they aren’t doing well, there is a reason -- adults need to figure out why, so we can help
  • Emphasis on understanding not blaming
  • Emphasis on collaborative problem solving not consequences
  • Emphasis on healthy development not just compliance
  • Mutual satisfaction (fairness)
i did not make this up from neurons to neighborhoods and the explosive child
The most important thing to know about inflexible-explosive children is that they don’t want to be inflexible or explosive. Their meltdowns aren’t intentional..., not a way to manipulate adults, get attention, test limits or engage in a power struggle... Watch a child during a meltdown and you’ll see how miserable (they are). No child would want to feel that way.

--Ross Greene

I did not make this up! From Neurons to Neighborhoodsand The Explosive Child

Healthy child development is dependent on a combination of individual responsibility, informal social supports, and formalized structures that evolve within a society

--Jack Schoncoff

transformational representation
Transformational Representation
  • Life Success leads to Case Success
    • The Dynamic Triangle of life outcomes
  • Resources, Opportunities, and Services
    • The Five Domains
      • Relationships
      • Education
  • Experiential Learning
    • The process of preparing a case.
domains
Domains
  • Search Institute 40 internal/external assets are building blocks of healthy youth development
  • Massachusetts Statewide Policy on Youth: “All Massachusetts youth grow up to be healthy, caring, and economically self-sufficient adults.”
domains1
Domains
  • Resources for Physical & Mental Health
  • Nurturing/Positive Relationships
  • Safe Places to Live and Learn
  • Educational and Economic Opportunity
  • Structured Activities & Civic Participation
attorney client relationship
Attorney Client Relationship
  • Caring and supportive relationship
  • High/Clear/Fair expectations
  • Maximizing opportunities for participation
  • Transitional and transformative
risk and resilience
Risk and Resilience
  • Resilience  the ability to cope positively with the stressors, challenges, adversity in one’s environment
  • Protective factors  factors that promote resilience
  • Risk factors make it harder to cope and to get needs met and engage in the “circle” in a healthy manner to develop positively
  • To really understand an adolescent, we need to know their strengths and competencies as well as risks and symptoms  need to know their TOTAL environment
stress coping
STRESS & COPING
  • All development needs stress and challenges
  • Two sides of a balance
  • Coping well requires resources to help you manage stress
  • Some days are better than others (consistency is not always consistent)
current adolescent brain research
Current Adolescent Brain Research
  • Adolescents are capable of making great decisions, but…
  • - They are often less-skilled at making real-life

decisions than adults

  • - Neural pathways do not flow as smoothly or

directly as with adults

  • - Strong environmental & peer influence are normal
  • - Risk-taking and lower capacity for self-management are developmentally appropriate
sentencing advocacy
Sentencing Advocacy
  • Marketing?
    • Packaging the client as is?
    • External Changes
    • Internal Changes
ross greene s beach
Ross Greene’s Beach
  • Waves and Undertow
  • Providing a Life Preserver
  • Teaching Swimming
yda in an adversarial system1

Legal Team

Litigation

- Zealous Legal Advocacy

- Youth Development Approach

- Nurturing Adult

Short Term

Best Possible Legal Outcome

- Care & Support

- Expectations

- Participation

Long Term

Problem Free Outcomes

YDA Domains

Health

Safety

Relationships

Education/Work

Community

Achievement Outcomes

Developmental Outcomes

YDA in an Adversarial System

Best Possible Life Outcomes

zealous advocate
Zealous Advocate
  • Assists child & family in turning court process into a healthy developmental experience
  • Helps court understand & meet the child’s developmental needs, improving legal and life outcomes
  • Helps Court fairly and effectively meet mission of caring for kids and protecting the community
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