On the final day of the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW) biennial conference in Cape Town, South Africa, the youth delegation took the stage chanting, “We are the answer!” The message was to the child and youth care workers there, as well as the South African government, what issues were important to them. They asked CYC workers to help them address the issues that are most challenging to South African youth, including gang violence to teenage pregnancy to illicit drug use.
On August 12, the United Nations will celebrate International Youth Day through the theme “Youth Civic Engagement.” Frequently, there are few opportunities for youth to engage with their government, but the NACCW offers the youth they serve with a platform to speak about the issues that are most critical in their lives and in society at large.
The Alliance values youth civic engagement as a key component of protecting vulnerable children, youth, and families. The youth at the NACCW conference demonstrated their deep knowledge of what they need to live healthy, safe, and productive lives. The social service workforce must take heed of these messages, joining with youth to achieve sustainable human development.
Learn more about youth civic engagement:
Alliance resources on youth and community advocacy: