Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Strategies for Working with ‘High Risk’ Youth

I came across a brief article today, one that was highlighted in one of the Child Welfare League of America's email updates. The article by Peter Smyth, "A Different Approach to High-Risk Youths," is from the November/December 2013 issue of Social Work Today.

In a nutshell, the following are the twelve Strategies for Strong Relationships that are at the core of a trauma-informed practice model being used by one of the child and family serving agencies in Alberta, Canada. Visit the full article for the detailed discussion and description.

  • Value youths and believe they’re worth the effort.
  • Be available.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Communicate a consistent message: “I will not give up on you.”
  • Expect to be tested.
  • Explore youths’ motivation to change.
  • Be patient.
  • Allow trust to evolve naturally.
  • Create healthy confusion.
  • Inspire hope.
  • Intentionally interact.
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