We Developed a Toolkit to Help Adults Collaborate With Youth

Sep 2017


Our new Youth Collaboration Toolkit will help create meaningful partnerships between youth and adults.

We believe that the ideas of young people with lived experience should be front and center in the movement to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. That’s why we’re proud to release our new Youth Collaboration Toolkit!

Developed as a partnership between the National Youth Forum on Homelessness (NYFH) and the True Colors Fund, this toolkit was initiated by NYFH members and shaped by their voices. The ideas and concepts included in this toolkit will help ensure that young people are authentically engaged while collaborating with the affirming adults in their lives.

What do we mean by “Youth Collaboration?”

Whenever decisions are being made that impact young people, it’s important that youth are at the table and have equitable decision-making responsibilities. This can look a number of different ways: working with young people to establish a youth leadership body, including one or more youth representatives on a board of directors, and creating opportunities for young people to speak for themselves. Young people who are receiving services should be encouraged to participate in decisions that directly impact their housing and wellbeing.

Authentic youth collaboration is about more than inviting a young person to share the stories of their past; it is also about providing the space for them to share their visions for the future.

Who can use this toolkit?

We developed this toolkit as a resource for folks whose work affects the lives of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness. However, this toolkit can benefit just about anyone who works with, or on behalf of, young people!