Resources for Creating and Improving Youth Councils

RESOURCES
SparkAction
January 1, 2013

Cities, counties and states across the country have established youth councils and commissions to ensure youth input into the policies that affect their lives. Not all youth councils are created equal. There is a growing body of evidence about what makes for an authentic, effective and sustainable youth council.

Here are some resources you should know about. Please suggest other great resources that we're missing.
 



Authentic Youth Civic Engagement: A Guide for Municipal Leaders

Published by the National League of Cities, this is a must-read guide that offers practical tools for promoting meaningful youth participation in local government.


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Building Effective Youth Councils

Produced by the Forum for Youth Investment in collaboration with the National League of Cities' YEF Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures, this report highlights six key tasks for creating effective youth councils, examples of strong municipal youth councils, and sample city ordinances, applications, bylaws, release forms, research, and other resources. It's designed to help states and localities create or strengthen their own youth councils.
 

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Big Idea: Youth Councils

Although 12 states currently have invested in some type of Youth Council, no national youth council exists in the United States. Thaddeus Ferber, Vice President at the Forum for Youth Investment and co-founder of SparkAction describes how a national network of Youth Councils can positively affect policymaking decisions, and offers advice on how federal and state governments can create high quality teams of engaged youth.

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Municipal Leadership for Children and Families in Small and Mid-Sized Cities

From the National League of Cities (sensing a trend? You don't want to work on a youth council without working with NLC!), this report highlights promising city efforts to improve the lives of children, youth and families in communities with populations below 75,000. It looks at more than 40 cities and towns across the country.

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NLC LOGOCity Examples of Youth Civic Engagement
The National League of Cities Center for Research and Innovation has assembled a collection of promising and creative city practices that support civic engagement, including initiatives that encourage young people to be more engaged members of their community.
 

  And: Elevating Youth Voices Through Youth Councils (a look at how the US State Department views youth input.)

 

For more great info, check out SparkAction's Youth Service & Leadership topic page.

 

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