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Youth Empowerment

Why it matters

Empowering Youth in Health Care

Empowering youth to actively participate in their health care leads to more preventive visits and lifelong engagement in their health and well-being. Health care professionals can implement programs and practices to develop adolescents into knowledgeable and engaged health care consumers. Additionally, health care professionals can improve the quality of their care by centering the values and opinions of the young people they serve. The following resources can help you along the way.

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Youth/Adult Co-Facilitation

When youth and adults team up to facilitate a training or presentation on an adolescent-related topic, it can benefit everyone involved. Young people bring theory to life through sharing their lived experiences, priorities, and perspectives. The opportunity to recognize and share their expertise can be a great professional development opportunity for youth, and for their adult partners as well.

Since our first conference in 2013, AHI has been connecting youth and adult facilitators to help them present on adolescent health-related topics, and we’ve learned some things along the way! Our staff and youth council members co-created three modules to help youth and adults co-facilitate in meaningful ways. The modules can be used together, or as standalone resources. Each resource includes activities and strategies to support a model of shared power in planning and facilitation.

Youth/Adult Co-Facilitation: For Adult Professionals

This module is intended for an adult to complete individually, before they plan with youth. It includes a brief overview of the theories behind youth engagement, activities to help adults consider their values and biases about partnering with young people, and tips to help them plan effectively and respectfully.

Launch Presentation

Youth/Adult Co-Facilitation: Planning Together

This module was created for adults and youth to complete together, at the same time, to guide teams through the presentation planning process from beginning to end. It includes a get-to-know-you activity, discussion prompts to help teams develop objectives and activities, and tips to make the most of your partnership. It can be completed in person, where facilitation partners are together in the same spot for the planning session, or virtually on a platform like Zoom. Before launching the module, you will need to select one person to open the module and screen share.

Launch Presentation

Youth/Adult Co-Facilitation: By Youth, For Youth

This module is intended for a young person to complete individually to help them plan or present with an adult. It includes tips on public speaking, what questions to ask and what to expect, as well as when and how to advocate for yourself when working with adults.

Launch Presentation
Strategies for Providing Youth-Friendly Services
Strategies for Providing Youth-Friendly Services

 Starter Guides

AHI offers mini-toolkits that offer concrete, actionable steps to improve adolescent care. Check out this Starter Guide to learn about strategies for providing youth-friendly services.

Youth-Friendly Materials

Youth empowerment can be impacted through programming, visual cues, and one-on-one conversations with patients. AHI offers resources on all three! 

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Manual to establish and sustain a Youth Advisory Council.  Additional Appendix found here.

Take Charge of Your Health Poster, 2016

Poster to guide youth as they take more ownership over their health care. Accompanying teen and parent/caregiver handouts available. Contact us to request a free printed copy.

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Poster to guide youth as they take more ownership over their health care in Spanish. Accompanying teen and parent/caregiver handouts available. Contact us to request a free printed copy.

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Sample health rights for teens poster to display in exam and waiting rooms. Contact us for a poster specific to your state!

Youth-Led Health Center Assessment, 2017

Assessment tool and facilitator guide used to engage young people in evaluating the youth-friendliness of health centers. Accompanying video available.

Videos

Hear directly from teens about how you can improve their health care experience.

Teen Self-Advocacy: How To Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
Share ways teens can advocate for themselves to get the quality health care they deserve.

We Can Help

Are you interested in empowering youth to be savvy health care consumers? Would you like to learn strategies to get authentic youth feedback on your adolescent services? We can help!