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Working With High-risk Youth : A Relationship-based Practice Framework (Hardcover) (Peter Smyth)
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In the child welfare system some youth do well in their lives but far too many do not experience positive outcomes by the time they are leaving government services. The youth often feel marginalized and that they were not involved in decisions about their own lives, leaving them with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. This book focuses on high-risk youth, whose struggles include neglect and abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, the risk of being exploited, mental health issues, and the inability to self-regulate and trust, a population of youth that government child welfare services, and community agencies struggle to serve adequately. The focus has traditionally been on punishment-consequence interventions and demanding compliance, but experience and research shows they can be better served through relationship-based practice incorporating harm reduction principles, resiliency and strength-based approaches, community collaboration, and an understanding that these youth typically come from experiences of early trauma impacting their brain development and their ability to form attachments. The book provides an overview of the Get Connected practice framework and philosophy, and provides strategies for engaging and working with the most disconnected, challenging and troubled youth in society.