Young people are key to effective community decision making and positive outcomes for local residents. This publication explores principles and strategies for engaging youth and young adults in decisions that affect them and the well-being of their communities.
This product reflects the commitment of the International Initiative for Children, Youth and Families to engaging young people. The Initiative—an international network of policy makers, managers, practitioners and researchers—puts the community and its residents at the center of its approach to improving results for children, youth and families. In 2003, recognizing the potential of young people to change their communities, the Initiative began a vital effort to involve youth from its member nations. A group of youth and adults from Israel, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States began working together to plan and conduct an International Learning Exchange focused on youth involvement in community change. In November 2004, young people and adults from eight countries participated in the Learning Exchange. This toolkit grew out of that event, and the Initiative continues its work to promote youth engagement as a cornerstone of strong communities.