National Forum of Organizations for At-risk Young Adults

The Forum was founded in 2013 by professionals and managers of various organizations in this field who identified a shortage of responses and solutions for at-risk young adults, and a need for professionalizing the field and the staff at the various organizations. Today the Forum counts 21 national organizations among its members.

The Vision

A society in which at-risk young adults are afforded the opportunity to take part, live in dignity, and enjoy a good quality of life.

A society which provides efficient, modern, accessible, and quality services for at-risk young adults.

Representing the organizations that work with at-risk young adults.

Initiating, developing, and advancing professional knowledge and research in this field.

Promoting and lobbying for clear and encompassing government policy in the area of at-risk young adults.

Who is an at-risk young adult?

At-risk young adults are young men and women who are at higher risk than their peers to find themselves in difficult circumstance that could lead to poverty, endanger their physical or mental wellbeing, or put them at odds with the law and law enforcement. In addition to the challenges facing all young adults, this population encounters substantial additional challenges, such as: lack of a financial and emotional support network; lack of a supportive social network; and a lack of relevant education, training, or academic skills.

12% of young adults in Israel are termed at-risk – 14,187 young adults of each yearly cohort – totally about 113,000 people ages 18-25 (as defined by “Working Together”, the Office of the Prime Minister’s roundtable initiative).

The Forum’s Goals

This summer (2017) the Forum concluded four years in operation and is planning to intensify its activity in the coming year in two areas in particular:

A. Professionalizing the field

from its inception, the Forum has placed the utmost importance on professionalizing the field. Providing guidance and support to at-risk young adults is a profession, and those who undertake it must train, specialize, and continue to deepen their professional knowledge. During 2017-2018 the Forum will several continuing education opportunities: a six-month-long training course for professionals working with at-risk young adults; 10 one-day seminars in the core issues these organization deal with (realizing rights, occupational guidance, financial guidance, coping with crisis situations, relationships and sexuality, and more); and management training for mid-level managers, who are a critical link in professionalizing the field.

Public Policy

Despite certain advances over the last few years, a significant gap still exists between the support offered to at-risk children and youth and to at-risk young adults. It therefore behooves us to create the conditions for policy makers to understand the continuity between these two groups. To that end the Forum intends to promote two main agendas:

  • Improving occupational advancement for at-risk young adults through fully realizing the potential of job training courses – changing existing criteria; equalizing conditions to those of other populations; and opening training courses that are targeted at and which give preference to at-risk young adults.
  • Changing public policy with regards to the health of young adults at risk by utilizing research into this population’s unmet needs: dental care and mental health care; identifying, mapping, and making the unmet needs visible and understandable to decision makers; generating a public policy recommendation report.

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