Combining services, supports and opportunities promote positive youth development

Many youth face multiple barriers and do not have access to supports, services and opportunities to thrive. Despite the large number of studies that address the question of how to promote positive youth development, there was no current overall summary of this research to form a basis for consistent evidence-based youth programs and services.

To address the gap, the YMCA of Greater Toronto and United Way Toronto initiated a review of current research literature 2002 to 2013, Youth Who Thrive. This resource summarizes the full review, outlining the critical factors that support youth ages 12-25 to thrive during critical life transitions such as moving to high school or leaving care and promoting long-term health throughout their lives. The specific objectives were:

  1. Review and synthesize young people’s needs in relation to their development and critical transitions.
  2. Identify key programming outcomes that address young people’s development and transitions
  3. Identify evidence-based interventions and program designs to achieve outcomes