New Toolkit for Youth Action, Youth Voice
Youth should have a voice in decision making processes that affect them. That’s the core value that guides a new toolkit developed by the True Colors Fund.
The Youth Collaboration Toolkit is designed to help organizations responsibly and meaningfully elevate youth voices. The Toolkit begins by asking users whether young people are impacting decisions, generating solutions, and “benefiting from the value of their lived experience” within an organization.
The Toolkit also lays out common barriers to effective youth engagement alongside tips for overcoming them. Adult assumptions about youth, their capabilities, and their experiences can have a big impact. Openness and respect, the Toolkit suggests, are key to productive collaboration between adult allies and youth.
True Colors Fund’s youth advocacy group, National Youth Forum on Homelessness, meeting in DC in 2017.
In the Voices of Youth Count initiative, the youth count and in-depth interview components were guided by clear youth engagement planning. As the Toolkit outlines, VoYC researchers had to identify barriers to authentic youth participation, including internal biases. This new resource will help more organizations develop meaningful opportunities for youth in their work.