Youth participation needed for strategy development

By Contributor
September 22nd, 2010

 A comprehensive Youth Strategy intended to improve the lives of Castlegar youth will be developed by the City of Castlegar with support from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). B.C. Healthy Communities, which has supported other B.C. communities with similar projects, has also been contracted to assist in this process.

“This strategy will provide comprehensive, current data to help Council make informed decisions regarding youth issues and services,” said Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff. “The participation from youth and youth service providers in this process is crucial, and we look forward to hearing from them throughout the building of this strategy.”

Through community consultation, the strategy will provide concrete data that will assist the city in developing future policy and programming priorities, help define the role of the city in supporting meaningful youth participation and identify assets and gaps in current services and opportunities for youth under 18.

“Columbia Basin Trust takes an active role in developing opportunities for young people in the Basin,” said Wayne Lundeberg, CBT youth initiatives manager. “Our support of the City of Castlegar will provide the youth of this community with opportunities for realizing their visions and becoming more engaged.”

The development of this strategy will involve several components:

Youth service providers will provide information on current programs and projects for young people in the community, plus complete a survey to share their visions, ideas and perspectives on youth participation. In a subsequent visioning session, they will review survey results; identify priority areas for programming, policy and processes; and work toward creating a definition of youth participation and engagement for the Castlegar community.

A youth survey will be created in co-operation with Castlegar youth and launched with the support of Stanley Humphries Secondary School. Other targeted groups around the community will be included in a more detailed survey.

Youth visioning sessions will focus on youth perspectives, experiences and suggestions for youth participation in Castlegar. Participants will map the community’s safe spaces and favourite hangouts; identify issues about, concerns about and barriers to participating in positive activities; and identify hopes and dreams for the future.

A community conversation will take place Oct. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Castlegar Forum: 445–13 Avenue. Registration is required and dinner will be provided. The conversation is for all ages, and will share information gathered in the previous stages of the process. The session will include discussions between youth and adults regarding the ambitions for youth participation within the community, and visioning for actions Castlegar would like to achieve now and in the future.

The final aspect of the process will be a reporting back to the community and council in January 2011.

For more information or to register to participate in any part of this process, contact Michelle d’Entremont, CBT Basin Youth Liaison, at 1-800-505-8998, 250-304-1665 or mdentremont@cbt.org.


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