A Collective Responsibility, A Collective Work: Supporting the Path to Positive Life Outcomes for Youth in Economically Distressed Communities

A Collective Responsibility, A Collective Work: Supporting the Path to Positive Life Outcomes for Youth in Economically Distressed Communities

A community-wide continuum of support is needed to help youth in poor communities transition into productive adulthood, a recent report from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) argues. The report, A Collective Responsibility, A Collective Work: Supporting the Path to Positive Life Outcomes for Youth in Economically Distressed Communities (34 pages, PDF), highlights the systemic risks that youth in distressed communities face, linking high child poverty rates and low high school graduation rates to high rates of violent crime, teen pregnancy, teen unemployment, and sub-par school performance. The report finds that in addition to lacking the resources needed to provide the support young people need, many poor communities suffer from fragmented or narrowly restricted services for youth. The authors call for structuring support programs and resources in a broad continuum from middle school through high school and beyond to enable healthy, well-rounded development.