Positive youth development, refers to intentional efforts of other youth, adults, communities, government agencies, and schools to provide opportunities for youth to enhance their interests, skills, and abilities into their adulthoods. Youth development overall is the physical, social, and emotional processes that occur during the adolescent period, from ages 10 until 24 years. It is the process through which young people acquire the cognitive, social, and emotional skills and abilities required to navigate life.
Youth United is a youth lead initiative whose purpose is to promote youth voice and youth partnership in Wayne County in partnership with Connections and its stakeholder using positive youth development values and philosophy. Youth United believes youth involvement and youth voice are necessary solutions to meet the needs of youth and families in systems of care.
Youth who participate in Youth United activities learn to be socially, mentally, and morally capable. Youth are able to develop their abilities and strengths, along with communicate and collaborate with leaders in Wayne County System of Care. Youth United promotes positive youth development by preparing youth to be effective leaders in their communities and being the change that they want to see happen in their communities.
Youth United is staff by Lead Youth Advocates who are charged with engaging other youth, promoting youth involvement at the community level, participating in system of care activities and educating stakeholders through their work.
The Youth United Council is comprised of youth 14-25 years of age that have past or present involvement in different systems of care on Wayne County. The Council is assembled to assist policy makers with decisions regarding systems of care that affect youth and families in Wayne County. The council participates in activities and projects aimed at moving the Wayne County System of Care (SOC) and Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) towards a Youth Driven System of Care.