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Recommendations for a Youth-At-Risk Initiative: Comments from the Academy

Wendy Hultsman, Benjamin Little


This study examined the questions, "What should the recreation and parks profession be doing for, with, and about at-risk youth?" and "How should the recreation and parks profession effectively address these issues?" Insight was gained by posing questions to a group with the ability to influence professional directions: members of the American Academy for Parks and Recreation. This paper interpreted their responses from a naturalistic perspective rather than attempting to provide definitive policy directions. Academy members recommended current resource enhancement strategies, including collaboration and establishing partnerships with other agencies, organizations, and businesses. Other recommendations focused on addressing social needs, leadership training, and youth involvement in the program planning process. The results have application for professionals, academic institutions, and students.


Youth-at-risk, adolescent programming, partnerships, trends, curricula, naturalistic inquiry

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