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5 Things to Know About Youth Not Employed or in School.

From Child Trends:  5 Things to Know About Youth Not Employed or in School.

As adolescents and young adults pursue greater autonomy, young people are also disposed biologically to begin taking greater risks, which for some youth can be particularly detrimental, such as unprotected sexual activity, truancy, or experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Not surprisingly, then, adolescence is a time during which rates of teenage pregnancy, running away, school dropout and juvenile justice involvement increase. These, in turn, can result in disconnection from important institutions that help prepare youth for a successful transition to full independence.

As recently as 2012, there were approximately 6.7 million youth in the United State who were not enrolled in school and who had been disconnected from the workforce for at least six months. That represents about 17 percent of the 16-to-24 age group nationally. Sometimes referred to as “opportunity youth” or “disconnected youth,” this population is among the hardest to reach with traditional social interventions. Yet, there is an emerging body of practice and literature that suggests these young people can be successfully reconnected to meaningful opportunities.

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