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Strengthening Idaho's Youth and Families

Service agencies, faith-based organizations, schools, local businesses and governmental agencies must work together in order to fully support Idaho’s youth. This resource guide was developed through a collaborative effort by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, the Idaho Juvenile Justice Commission and with the assistance of our community partners. The goal of this effort is to connect people with services and resources in their communities to strengthen Idaho’s youth and their families.

  • 14.2% of youth attending traditional high schools reported seriously considering suicide in 2009, 6.9% reported making at least one attempt. (SPAN Idaho) 
  • 22% of students in grades 9-12 reported being bullied on school property in the past year. (Idaho YRBS) 
  • 75% of juveniles entering detention facilities have substance abuse issues, mental health issues, or both. (IDJC Detention Clinician Report) 

Risk & Protective Factors for Youth

Positive youth development doesn’t just happen by accident; it hinges around a constructive engagement in youth within their family, peer group, schools, and communities (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Centers for Disease Control). The more protective factors present in a youth’s life, the less likely they are to experience problematic behaviors, such as difficulties in school, substance abuse, criminality, etc.

Maximize Protective Factors  (reduce exposure to risk factors): 
  • Secure attachments to positive adults
  • Appropriate structure, limit setting and discipline from parents
  • Positive relations with pro-social peers and activities
  • Communication and problem-solving skills
  • Sense of belonging and sociability, etc. 
Minimize Risk Factors  (experiences associated with problematic behavior):
  • Poor academic performance, truancy, or low IQ
  • Poverty or low socio-economic status
  • Poor/ ineffective parental supervision and disciplinary skills
  • Involvement with antisocial peers – substance abuse, criminality, bullying, etc.
  • Family violence- verbal and emotional abuse, or neglect, etc.