In Walton County, we believe that youth are not the problem, they are the solution. Walton County Youth Development provides programming for at-risk students, leadership and advocacy opportunities for those that excel, and rehabilitation programs to those who need extra attention to get going in the right direction. We are able to accomplish this mission by implementing three types of services:
Prevention- We provide prevention services through education directly to the general population of students in Walton County schools. We do this by connecting expert health education to students. We deliver drug and alcohol education, abstinence based sex education and other character education lessons at the local middle and high schools to supplement health education classes already being taught at these schools.
Intervention- We provide intervention services to targeted, at-risk youth, or those who are already engaging in unhealthy behaviors. We are able to accomplish this by facilitating the delivery of already existing resources to teens, such as anger management and self esteem groups. In addition, we facilitate Prime for Life classes in conjunction with Walton County Sheriff's Department for teens that have violated or are charged with drug or alcohol related offenses.
Awareness and Advocacy- We also provide opportunities for youth engagement within the community by bridging youth to the community at large. Our Youth Advocacy Board (YAB) is a prime example of how we are able to connect students with the community. YAB members are teens who advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers on teen related issues in Walton County. In addition, we facilitate and organize county-wide campaigns and events to encourage healthy behaviors among teens.
Because of a generous grant from the Walton County Healthcare Foundation, Inc and other community groups, educational systems, and law enforcement agencies we are able to provide these services. Through these grant and community dollars, The Partnership for Families, Children and Youth (an agency of Family Connection) serves as the parent agency to Youth Development. Because of community activism and advocacy for teens, Walton County has a full time youth development staff devoted to ensuring that all teens are given a fair chance at success.