YAB Handbook

The OHIO Youth Advisory Board is currently working to design a handbook to support county and regional Youth Advisory Boards. The ultimate vision of the OHIO Youth Advisory Board is for young people in each of Ohio’s 88 counties to have opportunities to have a voice.

Leadership skill development assists young people in and from foster care in preparing for their future, and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes post-emancipation.

Table of Contents  ~ DRAFT    
*With sample tools from the OHIO Youth Advisory Board

A.) Board Structure:    
1.) Sample Youth Leadership Retreat Schedule
2.) Constitution: Name, Mission and Vision of Board
3.) Membership Form
4.) Strategic Plan, and Action Steps
5.) Code of Conduct, including an Internet Policy
6.) Officer Roles and Responsibilities
7.) Officer Elections Ballot
8.) Protocol for Requests to Present at a YAB meeting
9.) Protocol for Youth Panel Requests
10.) Stipend Program

B.) Role of Adult Supporters:  
1.) Coaching and Mentoring Activity
2.) Growth Cycle of Youth Advisory Boards
3.) Helping overcome transportation barriers
4.) Making sure youth are prepared for opportunities
5.) Debriefing with youth after events
6.) Supporting growth and development of YAB members

C.) Officer Training and Development:        
1.) Officer in Training Application
2.) Professionalism: Understanding of the importance of their position
3.) Strategic Sharing
4.) Diplomacy Activity
5.) Conflict Resolution Skills Activity
6.) Leadership Styles Activity
7.) Communication Exercise
8.) Public Speaking Practice
9.) Specific training tracks for Officers
10.) How to map out a meeting agenda
11.) How to run a meeting

D.) Outreach Strategies:   
1.) Meeting Schedule
2.) Seeking out teens and young adults who might be interested
3.) Outreach to group homes
4.) Reaching out to Agency Directors to get their support

E.) Youth Empowerment by Staying Informed
1.) Learning about different agencies and how they work (including acronyms)
2.) Information about new Laws and regulations that may affect youth in care
3.) How to contact your State and Federal Representative
4.) Knowing about existing resources, such as the Foster Youth Rights Handbook

F.) Providing Peer Support for Other Youth
1.) Breaking down the Do’s and Don’t’s about Being in Care
2.) How to Navigate the System, including chain of command
3.) Life Skills
4.) Contacts: Who to Call
5.) Resources (Housing, Job, Higher Ed)

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