A Foundation for Youth Social Policy: The Implications for Parks and Recreation of the Perspectives of Senior Administrators of Large Cities
Keywords:At-risk youth, collaboration, local government, recreation, social policy
AbstractThis paper focuses on the issues faced by large municipalities in dealing with at-risk youth, both in terms of identifying these issues and in considering appropriate governmental responses to them. Senior administrators ofU. S. cities oflOO,OOO or greater population were sent a short questionnaire that focused on youth. The questions were: a) "What do you perceive as the major issuc:s municipal governments will face in dealing with at-risk youth during the next few years?" and b) "How do you think municipal governments should respond to these issues to deal most effectivelywi th problems facing youth?" This paper presents thematic areas in which the responses to these questions fell and discusses implications of these responses for local park and recreation departments as they develop programs and services for youth and collaborate with other governmental agencies on youth policies. The results suggest that public park and recreation agencies, while seen by municipal administrators as being important in responding to youth concerns, may need to consider ways of becoming more collaborative in order to deal effectively with risk factors facing youth today.
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