Ad Hoc Committee for Youth at RiskFinal Submission of Report Presented to School Committee - November 18, 2014
Members: 14 members (plus 11 organizational liaisons and two liaisons from the School Committee)
Appointed by: School Committee
Length of term: 12 months
Meeting times: As needed
Description: The Committee will address issues concerning Lexington youth, ages 5 - 22, whose mental or physical health is at risk because of stress originating from physical, emotional, social, cultural, and academic sources that may adversely affect them and their families. Youth stress may also be caused by the stressors experienced with education performance expectations, financial issues, job loss, relocation and/or homelessness. Youth may be considered "at risk" because of stress when they or their families experience problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, trauma, PTSD, physical or sexual abuse, chronic illness, domestic violence, or feelings of grief/loss.
This is a community public health concern whose solution requires a collaborative approach involving the schools, students, parents, town agencies such as the Health and Human Services/Youth and Family departments, and the broader Lexington community.
The ad hoc Committee is charged with recommending policies, goals and programs to address this issue of youth at risk due to stress .These recommendations would be based in part on a review, and evaluation of programs and services that currently exist to support youth and families in Lexington. The committee will address the following issues:
- Review existing public and private programs and services in the community, schools, and town that currently serve youth at risk.
- Identify unmet needs (gaps in services) – including using data from existing surveys, 20/20 Demographic Task Force, Healthy Community Grant Survey from the Board of Health, and interviews with staff.
- To address these unmet needs as well as to develop the resiliency of Lexington youth, recommend to the School Committee modifications of existing programs and services in the community and schools or the implementation of new programs and services in the schools and public or private programs and services in the community.