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Responding to the Needs of Youth

Responding to the Needs of Youth

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Responding to the Needs of Youth

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  1. Responding to the Needs of Youth United Way of Leeds and Grenville Judi Baril, Executive Director, Hannah Gzik Campaign Staff

  2. What does United Way do? • Our primary job is to fundraise for our member agencies • This year we will fund 27 member agencies from all across Leeds & Grenville • Our agencies helped 33,000 people last year through our funding – that’s 1 in every 3 people • Our other job is to help make this community strong

  3. United Way’s Youth Journey • UW has been having conversations with youth for the past six years • Youth Town Halls conducted in 2004, 2006, 2009 • Youth Summits held every year since 2004 • Motivational speakers at all High Schools annually

  4. Youth Journey con’t • Leadership training all high schools annually • Youth 2 Youth Board since 2007 – two reps all high schools – junior board of directors • Junior Trustee at Board level • Caring For Others – grade 4 level since 2002 • Publication Little Black Book 2009

  5. What have we learned from youth over the years? • Children as young as 12 shared concerns about drugs and alcohol use and abuse • Youth were consumed by poverty issues • Quest for jobs in children as young as 12 • No affordable nutritious food choices at school • Rural youth expressed feelings of hopelessness, loneliness & isolation – rural experiences more suicides per capita • Youth want to drive earlier, get jobs earlier and they want to leave their community after school • We observed that rural communities suffer from a “brain drain” unlike their urban neighbours

  6. What else do we know about our youth? • Youth living in rural communities live in deeper poverty than their urban neighbours • Cost of competitive housing traps rural dwellers in poverty and keeps them there • Some youth live in homes with no running water • Lack of accessible transportation contributes to high level of poverty • Communities where rural poor live have no jobs and no available day care • Homelessness amongst youth is escalating

  7. 2006 Survey ResultsPriorities & Issues - Top seven 1. No affordable youth activities or entertainment 2. Drug and alcohol abuse 3. Peer pressure 4. Youth don’t feel safe 5. Youth don’t feel they have a voice 6. Youth employment opportunities – lack of jobs 7. Transportation

  8. Have Things Changed ? • United Way wanted to know if anything had changed in 4 years • Engaged in a new phase of community consultations • Online survey attracted 370 responses • In school turbo survey pooled over 1300 responses

  9. # 1 Issue in 2006 No affordable youth activities or entertainment 2009 results indicated that 28.35% of youth surveyed can find affordable activities 39.81% struggle with finding activities 31.84% cannot find affordable activities

  10. # 2 Issue in 2006 Drug and alcohol abuse Question: Are drugs easy to get? No : 15.68% Maybe : 18.15% Yes: 66.17% Question: Do you feel pressure to do drugs or alcohol? No : 65.42% Maybe : 26.12% Yes: 8.46%

  11. # 3 Issue 2006 Peer pressure Question: Do you find it difficult dealing with pressure from friends? No: 42.63% Maybe: 34.48% Yes: 22.89%

  12. # 4 Issue 2006 Youth don’t feel safe Question: Do you feel safe at school? No: 10.54% Maybe: 14.93% Yes: 74.53% Question: Do you feel safe in your community? No: 11.44% Maybe: 29.10% Yes: 59.46%

  13. # 5 2006 IssueYouth don’t feel they have a voice Question: Do you feel adults (parents) listen to you? No: 21.35% Maybe: 33.31% Yes: 45.34%

  14. # 6 Issue 2006 : Youth employment opportunities – lack of jobs Question: Are you finding it difficult to find a job? No: 22.88% Maybe : 34.82% Yes: 42.30%

  15. # 7 Issues 2006: Transportation Question: Do you have a problem with transportation getting to work, school, sports etc.? No: 65.92% Maybe: 21.89% Yes: 11.94%

  16. What about youth and mental health What we know: It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder - the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide. Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode. The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.

  17. How are our youth coping? Q. Are curriculum expectations in high school too high? N: 33.98% M. 39.16% Y. 26.36% Q. Do you struggle with homework? N. 49.25% M. 28.86% Y. 21.89% Q. Is bullying a problem for you? N. 75.87% M. 12.69% Y. 11.44%

  18. How are they coping con’t… Q Are you worried about yourself or someone close to you? N.35.32% M. 29.36% Y. 35.32% Q. Do you sometimes feel sad or depressed? N. 26.93% M. 32.22% Y. 40.85%

  19. How are they coping con’t… Q. Do you feel stress or pressure at school? N. 27.16% M.31.10% Y. 41.74% Q. Are you worried about having a place to stay? N. 72.89% M. 19.40% Y. 7.71%

  20. United Way’s Role • Our role has been defined as a convenor, facilitator and planner • We are a funder & a fundraiser • We will work with organizations to help launch a program but will not launch it ourselves • We are interested in funding programs that get at root causes • We are interested in outcome measurement

  21. United Way’s role con’t • At National level we are delivering branded programs to the community • At Provincial level we are working on two provincially driven initiatives Ontario Youth Matters which is managed by a collaborative of YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and United Way

  22. Our Role Continued • We are also working on a poverty initiative that is in its beginning stages across the province • We will continue to provide youth programming aimed at our issues and our strategic plan including Y2Y Board, Youth Summit, Leadership Development Services, Caring For Others

  23. Youth Survey Conclusions • We found that some issues have improved – levels of bullying seems to have declined but emotional bullying is up • Youth are feeling more safe at school and in their community • Stress level, has gone up • Youth are still consumed by issues that affect them and their peers • There seemed to be a shift in the needs around youth polled regarding the needs of transportation

  24. Conclusions • Drug and alcohol abuse and behaviours have remained the same • Youth identified more support and assistance for career counselling and course related assistance than they did in 2006 • Youth did not express as much dissatisfaction about having their voice heard as in 2006 • Many young people that we spoke to remained hopeful for their future, spoke highly of the adults and peers in their lives

  25. Our Community & Successes • Programs to help youth deal with in school issues have developed • Wait times for youth receiving counselling have lessened • Lots of after school and mentoring programs continue • United Way will continue to invest heavily in priority issues

  26. “Young people need models, not critics” John Wooden