Freechild provides workshops across the United States, Canada and internationally in four main areas:
VOICE—Freechild teaches that youth voice is any expression of any young person anywhere, at any time for any reason. We facilitate workshops that help people learn how, when, where and why youth voice matters!
ENGAGEMENT—Choosing the same thing over and over allows young people to establish their purpose, power and possibilities in life. Freechild’s learning activities show that when those choices are intentional, positive and motivated, they can connect youth with what matters for their entire lifetimes.
INVOLVEMENT—Fostering systemic opportunities for youth in activities, programs, organizations and communities requires planning, learning, action and reflection. Participants in Freechild workshops find out how youth engagement happens and where it matters most.
ACTION—You wouldn’t give the keys to a 16-year-old and tell them to figure out how to drive, but you would turn them loose with a budget and no learning about planning, facilitating and improving youth action? Freechild facilitates learning about youth action in positive, powerful ways! This includes our new Social Action Recharge for Youth & Adults workshop (see bottom!)
Sustained, meaningful involvement is a key to engaging youth with purpose, power and belonging.
The Freechild Institute is building an international movement to build, increase, sustain and expand youth involvement throughout the activities, programs, organizations and communities they belong within.
We are doing this with a campaign focused on education, including social media, print materials, training and evaluation. Our international training team led by Adam Fletcher will travel to your community or conference to help build this movement.
Transforming a city—one that is likely complex and has been in place for centuries—into a place that engages all youth everywhere all the time can be difficult. Questions commonly raised by youth and adults looking to foster citywide youth engagement strategies include:
Who should be engaged?
What should our youth engagement strategy look like?
How will we know if it works?
To help address these and many other questions, the Freechild Institute has written this article to guide the development of citywide youth engagement strategies. We have worked with several communities to develop these strategies. The approaches we develop strive to build youth engagement systems that help communities design, implement, and sustain strategies to youth engagement that are data-driven and focused on your community’s unique strengths and needs, making your systems much more likely to succeed.
Step 1: Plan an Assessment
Plan a systemwide assessment. Identify the extent to which current operations align with or deviate from the features of an effective citywide youth engagement strategy. Specifically, it can offer guidance on:
Reviewing the scope of youth engagement;
Reviewing the roles and responsibilities, and;
Affirming the timeline for youth engagement throughout your community.
Step 2: Review Citywide Policies
Review the policies that affect what’s happening in your city. Examine the rules and policies that govern youth engagement throughout your community to figure out what is and is not needed at each point throughout your community.
Step 3: Collect Quantitative Data
Collect quantitative data on how and who is using the system. Explore how to gather data on the volume and characteristics of youth engagement throughout your community, allowing you to identify those areas that are working well and those that are broken and in need of repair. Specifically, collect high-level, aggregate statistics on the following data elements:
Types of engagement
Demographics of young people, communities and stakeholders
Purposes, intentions and visions
Service needs and other systemic opportunities
Youth engagement times and costs
Locations for youth engagement, length of engagement, and costs
Step 4: Collect Qualitative Data
Collect qualitative data on how local stakeholders perceive youth engagement. Gather the impressions, opinions, and general insight of youth engagement system stakeholders. This can help order to form a more holistic narrative of the community. Specifically, gather this information from the following groups:
Stakeholders who work in the youth engagement system
Step 5: Collect Information
Collect information on local service capacity. Determine the existing local capacity for facilitating youth engagement with young people, parents, nonprofits, schools, government agencies, and others. Specifically:
Develop a list of youth engagement champions, providers and facilitators
Survey champions, providers and facilitators
Step 6: Analyze the Data
Analyze the quantitative and qualitative data together, allowing each to inform the other. Actively and intentionally use the policies and quantitative, qualitative and service capacity information you have collected to inform and drive your work. Specifically:
Uncover the narrative of your youth engagement system
Present and reflect upon key findings as a citywide youth engagement strategy
Step 7: Create a Citywide Strategy
Create a citywide youth engagement strategy. Using the data you’ve collected, create a citywide youth engagement strategy. As you develop your tool, consider each of the data points you’ve collected and your analysis of the data. Your strategy should be applicable throughout your entire city and reflect your goals. Essential elements of the strategy should reflect:
The Freechild Project is excited to announce the availability of our Youth Political Action Institute. Designed to inspire, inform and empower young people ages 12 to 18, Freechild facilitates online workshops with powerful, positive and practical lessons that will change the lives of youth in your community!
Our institute covers five areas:
Motivation — Why is it absolutely essential for YOU to take action?!?
Knowledge-Sharing — You know what you know; now share it with others!
Skill-Building — Developing the POWER to create change is critical.
Action Planning — Learning how to DO SOMETHING takes commitment!
Reflection — Its not enough to just do stuff. You should learn about action with us.
Call The Freechild Project today to discuss costs, availability and more at (360) 489-9680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.