Holistic Youth Development is a way to think about the ways children and youth grow, learn, and evolve while they are young. It includes activities, cultures and structures that strengthen the entire young person. Instead of treating children and youth as a specific age number interested in a single topic during one time of the day, week, month or year, holistic youth development sees the entire young person all of the time, from birth to adulthood. More people today understand that child development and youth development does not happen in a straight line. Instead, it is all over for different young people, and is driven by the ecology surrounding children and youth. That ecology includes the adults, other young people, the environment, social and economic realities, culture, and many more parts.
I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. ― Audre Lorde
- The Freechild Project Guide to Holistic Youth Development by Adam Fletcher for The Freechild Project
- “Holistic youth development” by Dominican Dream Project
- State of the Field Report: Cross-Sectoral, Holistic Youth Development By Nancy Guerra and Christina Olenik for USAID
- “Does Holistic Youth Development Programming Lead to Strengthened Employability?” How Do We Know? By Hazem Salahat, Rachel Surkin and Sheila Scott for IREX
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in holistic youth development in your community or organization, contact us.