Using a Population Health Approach in Welfare-to-Work Strategies For Youth-At-Risk
David B. Gibson
The central question raised by those who work with youth in welfare-to-work programs is: Why do some have the capacity to succeed and maintain adaptive behaviours after adverse circumstances while others do not?
Impediments to employment of youth (aged 16-25 years) have substantially increased in recent years. A disproportionately large number of young people are exposed to long-term unemployment or are limited to precarious or short-term work, or poor-quality low-income jobs. Consequently, large numbers of young people drop out of the workforce, or fail to enter it successfully in the first place and become inactive. Socially disadvantaged youth, or at-risk youth are particularly affected, perpetuating a vicious circle of poverty and social exclusion.
Competencies and skills possessed by young people are a significant factor in determining employment. Recent youth resiliency research and emerging best practices, suggest that youth welfare-to-work strategies that are grounded in the population health approach not only help young people avoid self-destructive behaviour but can also enable them to acquire the academic and work-readiness skills and personal attributes sought after by employers.
This presentation will present current empirical evidence on resiliency factors that enhance the impact of welfare-to-work strategies with youth-at-risk and the implications for integrating the population health approach into current welfare and training policies.
David B. Gibson M.S.W., RSW Program Manager, Somerset West Community Health Centre, Urban Shift Learning, Ottawa, Canada K1R 6S3 (613) 238-8210 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Gibson is the Manager for Community & Social Services at Somerset West Community Health Centre in Ottawa, Canada. With 17 years of experience in health & social service program management & development related to youth, David has gained a reputation for developing innovative & outcome effective services with limited or shrinking funding bases. He recently returned from Boston MA, U.S.A., where he acted as a Managed Care Consultant to a State Home Care Program, and an Adolescent Treatment Program. David has been invited to international conferences in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland and Australia for topics related to ‘program evaluation, brief intervention counselling for youth and employment training for youth at-risk’. David is married with 5 children including 1 foster child and enjoys camping, running, soccer and just being a “Dad”.
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