Why Should You Join a Youth Thrive Action Team?
Partners inform and support the work of Youth Thrive by participating on an Action Team. Teams began convening in April 2015 with the product of developing the first-ever Wake County Youth Master Plan. Beginning with the recently released Wake County Youth Well-being Profile, Action Teams will uncover local problems related to children and youth, ages 5-18, and offer their existing plans and effort, establish new ones, and look for ways to work better together.
How much time do I have to invest in an Action Team? Where will my team meet and how often? Action Teams will meet monthly for 3 hours. There may be some preparation/ “homework” outside of meetings (e.g., reaching out to others to obtain information, doing research, etc.). Total monthly time commitment will be about 5 hours or less. Locations for each meeting will be announced early in the process. We will work to have each Action Team meet at the same time each month on the same date in the same location, so participants can plan around it.
What specific skills do I need when serving on an Action Team? What do I have to do? First and foremost, we need your full participation and voice at the table. If you are an agency/organization leader, we need you to be willing to bring your resources to bear with the understanding that our intent is to uncover all who serve youth in Wake County. If you are a person who serves youth, we need you to bring your “in the field” experiences and your understanding of the local conditions our youth and their families face in Wake County. If you are a community member concerned about our young people, we invite you to be the advocate for their needs. We need you to be willing to stick with it through the process of building the Wake County Youth Master Plan and beyond to ensure the plan is implemented and impact is measured.
What are the advantages to being involved in an Action Team and the development to the Wake County Youth Master Planning process? This is not about the creation of ANOTHER strategic plan. Serving on an Action Team gives you and your organization the chance to bring your existing strategic plan(s) to the table, align them to community needs and then to other organizations serving the same population. Once finalized, your organization will be represented in the Master Plan, which will go before our local stakeholder bodies (i.e., the Board of Commissioners, City Councils, Board of Education, etc.) for adoption and support. Not being at the table leaves reduces the chance of optimal inclusion and representation of what is available to youth in our County.
Which Action Team Should I Join? You should join an Action Team where your passion is best suited and/or where your organization is best represented. It is possibly that your organization will need to spread staff across multiple Action Teams in order to fully offer up the breadth of services provided to children and youth across the various areas of concern. The following Action Teams have been named:
Opportunity Youth Action Team: Issues related to youth who are considered at-risk
Physical Health & Safety Action Team: Anything that threatens the physical health and safety of children
Emotional/Mental Health & Wellness Action Team
- Access to mental health care
- Bullying prevention
- Suicide prevention
- Special populations
- Increasing our local understanding about the actual mental health/wellness of Wake County youth
Vocational & Civic Development Action Team
- Soft skill development
- Increasing opportunities for job shadowing
- Youth engagement in volunteerism
- Increasing the likelihood that youth will participate in the electoral process (voting/public service)
Data Action Team
- Continuous data improvement and collection
- Updates to the Wake County Youth Well-being Profile
- Improving local data sharing practices
- Focus on exploring shared measurement and shared measurement systems
Communications Action Team
- Effective communication of Youth Thrive, its mission and Action Team efforts
- Increasing and ensuring appropriate outreach to relevant audiences
Policy & Advocacy Action Team
- Inform Youth Thrive of timely legislation and/or policy initiatives (local, state and national) related to youth
- Seek to understand local systems and their design