Teens in Trouble: Regional Dialogues (Final Report - Addressing the Community Needs of High-Risk Youth in Minnesota)
This author says that youth are struggling in all Minnesota communities. Some youth are experiencing abuse, trauma, or chronic neglect in their homes. Some teenagers exiting foster care, corrections, or mental health facilities need assistance in transitioning to adulthood. Other teens and young adults are without housing and need help finding a safe place to call home. To address these concerns, community-based organizations, state agency representatives, and community members came together in 2002 to discuss the needs of older adolescents in the child welfare system as well as those youth in need of intervention and supportive services. These "Regional Dialogues" were held throughout Minnesota and helped communities gain a better perspective of the needs of youth experiencing crisis, abuse, or neglect. These communities were able to analyze the needs of struggling youth, identify resources, build working relationships between youth-serving professionals, articulate high priority needs, and plan for future capacity building activities. In this report, the author describes the activities and outcomes of these Regional Dialogues.