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All Youth Ready at 21
Connecticut Youth Futures Policy Team p Participates in: n Youth Policy Institute of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Forum for Youth Investment and the National Governors Association p Membership: n Representatives from the legislative and executive branches of government, along with community representatives
Goal: Create a comprehensive, coordinated system of youth-development services. We do this by giving youth access to: p p p Resources that promote optimal physical and mental health Nurturing relationships with adults and positive relationships with peers Safe places for living and working Educational and economic opportunity Structured activities and opportunities for community service and civic participation.
Youth outcomes for measuring success of the system p p p p Increased school attendance Improved academic or technical proficiencies Full employment if not in school, or receiving other training Engaged in community efforts Living in stable housing Increased access to physical and mental health care Acting as leaders and mentors to other youth
Kickoff of the Connecticut Youth Futures Committee p House Speaker Jim Amann, Representative Ken Green, and other key lawmakers announced “a new vision for youth justice and youth services” at a news conference on February 6, 2006. “The State of Connecticut is making positive strides to provide services to youth. However, there is still a large gap in services to young people, specifically, those of color, low economic status, and in rural communities that are not seeing all of the benefits to assist them in becoming healthy adults. ” – Representative Green “Our future depends on young people having the tools they need to succeed in an extremely competitive global economy. ” – Speaker Amann
Youth Futures Policy Team p Works with state agencies, community representatives, and youth to formulate youth policy and develop strategies for embedding positive youth development outcomes and principles in budget priorities and practices. Testifying in support of youth: House Speaker Amann, Rep. Elizabeth Boukus, and (standing) Commission on Children Legislative Director Elizabeth Brown.
Youth Futures Policy Team collaborates with the State Youth Vision Team About the Youth Vision Team: p p p An interagency collaboration led by the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, within the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission (CETC). Seeks to improve planning and coordination across state agencies to “better prepare the neediest youth populations for the high-growth, high demand jobs of the 21 st century. ” Accomplishments: n State agencies are developing a demonstration project in New Haven that will serve 50 foster youth between the ages of 14 and 21.
More about the New Haven project p The youth must be: n transitioning out of foster care or preparing to do so, and n participants in the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. p State agencies will seek to leverage resources, align outcomes, and serve the youths in holistic manner, instead of focusing on just one outcome, such as job training or literacy. p Expect further systems changes related to data-sharing, leveraging of resources, program evaluation, research, and youth involvement.
New policy direction p The Human Services Committee raised H. B. 5532, An Act Concerning Youth Policy. The bill passed unanimously in committee and awaits action on the House calendar. n WHAT: Creates a Youth Futures Committee led by the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission (CETC) through the Office of Workforce Competitiveness to develop a comprehensive plan for embedding youth development outcomes and accountability in all state youth services. n WHO: Representation from all three branches of government, including six legislators appointed by House and Senate. Bi-partisan leadership and representation from a local Workforce Investment Board and from the State Youth Service Bureau Association.
New policy direction (continued) p CHARGE: The Committee is charged with the following: n Developing guidelines for the delivery of youth services n Embedding positive youth outcomes in state policy n Improving communication among agencies that administer programs to youth n Assessing existing funding resources, networks, and returns on investments to maximize the development of community level services. n Collaborating with public and private partnerships. p ACCOUNTABILITY: The committee will be required to show: n progress in achieving positive youth development outcomes n total state expenditures dedicated to achieving such positive outcomes n state agency programs that serve youth not in educational activities
Taking it to the streets p Youth ‘speak outs’ planned n Six forums will be held across Connecticut between April and June 2006. n The forums will be hosted by youth organizations, with questions and formats to be determined by those groups.