Re-engaging Youth as we Approach a New School Year - MtS DEMS Prevention CoP Call - June 2020

Re-engaging Youth as we Approach a New School Year - MtS DEMS Prevention CoP Call - June 2020

What does re-engagement with youth look like in FNS programs now and as we approach a new school year? 

  • Currently, many sites are doing backyard social distance visits with youth and families where they’ll bring their own lawn chairs to meetings
    • Using these opportunities to bring coffee/donuts to break to program participants so the initial tension that comes with engaging in person again is more easily broken
  • For some sites who aren’t yet moving towards primarily face-to-face engagement, program participants can still schedule in-person meetings but these meetings are staggered to ensure there’s time for proper sanitation in between them
  • New approaches to engaging/doing outreach virtually:
    • At intake, building in a phone call orientation with an FNS worker
    • Using a separate Instagram account just for connecting
    • Circulating information about the FNS program through shelter TVs/screens
    • Hosting a residents’ meeting on Zoom with a Q+A period
    • One-on-one work shops on a variety of topics over the phone
  • Champions at schools continue to go above and beyond for youth - continuously engaging them so YR program could stay engaged with them too
  • For youth who don’t want to do online schooling, provide supplementary materials; for youth who excel at schooling online - leverage that and build off of it
  • Some sites have worked with families to keep youth engaged in goals around school
  • The continuum of FNS work goes from upstream early intervention work to further downstream working with youth to exit homelessness; some youth will say “I can’t do school if my mental health isn’t good, my mental health isn’t good if my relationships aren’t good”