How to Help At-Risk Youth Cope in Challenging Situations

At-risk youth are those who may be vulnerable to negative influences and challenges. They may have had difficult backgrounds and hardships, come from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, or may be dealing with emotional, behavioral or mental health problems. It’s essential for educators, community members, and parents to understand how to help at-risk youth cope in challenging situations to prevent them from making mistakes and going down a bad path.

Create a Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive environment is a key first step in helping at-risk youth cope with challenges. This includes providing a safe, structured and welcoming environment with positive relationships and role models. Making sure they feel supported and included is essential. It’s important to provide a sense of belonging, to emphasize their strengths, and offer them sincere understanding and empathy.

Set Firm and Clear Boundaries

To ensure at-risk youth understand our expectations of them, it’s important to set firm and clear boundaries. This includes following through on consequences when they don’t abide by the rules and expectations. Setting consistent rules also helps them feel safe, secure, and able to trust others.

Encourage Positive Self-Image

Having a positive self-image is essential for young people to be able to cope with challenges. Building confidence in their abilities, talents and successes can help them make the best choices for their future. Using positive reinforcement and building up their self-esteem helps strengthen their coping abilities.

Help Them Achieve Goals

Enabling at-risk youth to achieve their goals is an effective way to boost their self-esteem and help them cope with challenges. Teaching them to set realistic and achievable goals, and to monitor their progress is also important. Support their efforts by providing them with resources such as mentors and tutors.

Teach Resilience

Teaching at-risk youth to be resilient is a key element of helping them cope with challenges. Promote their personal belief system through understanding, teaching positive traits and developing positive relationships. Encourage problem-solving strategies, and teach strategies such as relaxation, calming strategies and optimism.

Promote Connectedness

Promoting connectedness is an important factor in helping at-risk youth cope in challenging situations. Provide positive relationships, mentor and be a role model, and create a sense of belonging to the community. Encouraging connectedness to the school will aid in the development of a safe and supportive environment.

Develop Coping Skills

At-risk youth need to develop their own coping skills in order to effectively manage their challenges. Teach them basic coping strategies such as problem solving, managing their emotions and communication techniques. Give them the tools they need to express themselves and manage their emotional and mental health.


At-risk youth must be equipped with skills and methods to cope with challenges in order to stay on the right path. Educators, parents and community members all play a key role in helping them cope. Encouraging positive self-image, teaching resilience, promoting connectedness, and setting clear boundaries and expectations are all important steps in helping them to manage and navigate their challenges.

The benefits of a Juvenile home

Teenagers who commit offences are taken to a juvenile home instead of a prison. A juvenile home is a place where young individuals are placed for the purpose of reformation.

Basically, the juvenile and the prison play the same role. However, at the Juvenile home, the teenagers are not maltreated as those in the prison.

Here are the benefits of a Juvenile home


When a young individual commits a crime that should land him or her in prison, a juvie is the best place for them to be. One of the reasons why they are taken to the juvenile home is because they are considered too young to know the implications of a committed crime.

Hence, at the juvenile home, the young individual is made to understand the weight of the committed crime. And they would learn why it is not something that should become a habit.

The juvenile home aims to correct bad habits in a young individual so that they don’t grow into adults with the same behavior.


The juvenile home teaches the young individual several things to learn about themselves and the society in general.

They are given the basics of how to contribute their quota to the society as young individuals. Also, they are taught about the various crimes that would warrant an arrest and possibly prison time.

Most of what is taught in a juvenile home is not taught in schools because the individual is undergoing a phase of reformation.

Learn new things/skills

At the juvenile home, the young individual is expected to participate in community service amongst other voluntary work. The young individual would see his or herself in the shoes of other people, which would help to instill the attribute of empathy.

While performing community service, the young individuals would learn various skills to help them become better individuals in the future.

Bringing up your child the right way

Are you planning to bring a child into this world with your partner and you want them to be nurtured the right way? It is the desire of every parent to ensure their children grow to become respectable members of the society but the work starts from childhood.

If you don’t know how to go about it, here are some steps to bringing up your child the right way.

Encourage them

Learn to encourage and motivate your child instead of bringing down their spirits. If you instill the habits of always encouraging them as children, they will grow up to be confident individuals who are not afraid of challenges.

Teach them to volunteer

Ensure your children are ready to take up little responsibilities at their tender age and they can begin by volunteering. You can teach them to volunteer to do little tasks for you, their siblings, friends or classmates.

Give rewards sparingly

Be careful not to spoil your children with rewards when they do something good. Rather, give rewards when they least expect and encourage them to strive to do better next time.

Teach Good manners

The type of manners you instill in your children serve as the building blocks for their future. Teach them how to be respectful, diligent, courteous, disciplined etc. These attributes and more will go a long way in making them good individuals as they get older.

Teach healthy habits

The truth is, you might not be with your children every time, but in your absence, you have to be sure they imbibe healthy habits. Teach them the essence of having a nutritious diet, good sleep, exercise etc.

When your children learn certain habits, it will be easy for them to maintain when they get older.

Discipline them

Some parents make the mistake of giving their children a free hand to behave as they want. Eventually, they grow up to be individuals who are not disciplined. When your children misbehave, it is important to discipline them instead of overlooking.


The transition phase between childhood and adulthood comes with a tendency for a child to derail. The making of an adult as a criminal does not start when he or she is an adult. It begins when the individual was a child.

There are some life processes that would have built up at the initial stage of life, which would make the individual a criminal when he or she is of age.

These choices come with some high-risk behaviors which have the possibility to form adult characters, and they have implications which would certainly be detrimental to themselves and the society.

To begin with, children need to be protected from unwarranted sexual activities.

At this stage of their lives, indulging in sexual activities is not good for them, and parents need to see to it that, their children are protected from this.

Children are highly exposed to several things, the media being one of the strongest medium, and there is a chance they would want to emulate what they see there.

So, it is important for parents to be careful of what their children see. They might not be with them at all times, but it is important to have an idea of what their children do.

Some children who are not properly monitored can grow up to be sex workers, who are sometimes referred to as prostitutes.

In addition to this, parents need to be very careful so that their children do not end up as drug or alcohol addicts. This is one of the reasons why there is an increase in social vices in almost every nation.

People who abuse drugs and alcohol are more likely to indulge in criminal activities than other people who do not. 

Children who are born to families that are low-income have a tendency to not receive proper training and formal education.

So, there is a possibility that they would not do well academically, and even drop out and imbibe a high risk behavior.


A Juvenile home is commonly referred to as Juvie, and it is a place for people who are regarded as minority. People in this category are usually teenagers found guilty of committing an offence.

However, they are not qualified to take the same punishment as older adults would. So, what the court would do in this case, is to send them to a Juvenile home.

Sometimes, a Juvenile home is often called a correctional facility, and they are sent here for the purpose of character reformation and the inculcation of good habits which would make them useful to the society.

The court system for Juveniles is however quite different conventional court system.

The Juvenile home places focus on providing help to young children and teenagers.

They act in their best interest, and they do not take the crime committee into consideration. Rather, they use this platform to provide assistance and training to ensure that they stop criminal acts.

On a normal basis, the court does not charge juveniles, as a normal court process would. Rather, the motive is to provide reorientation for them.

Punishing a Juvenile for a crime would deter from the main purpose of a Juvenile home.

A Juvenile court comes with a more informal process, than when contrasted with a conventional court process.

If a Juvenile is pronounced guilty of an offence committed, then the person is placed under adjudication which is a form of hearing.

This is often confidential, so that the ability of the Juvenile to be integrated into the society properly, would not be affected.

This is different from a regular criminal court in which the public and juries are present to hear the case. Then what the judge does is, listen to the evidences presented in court.

There are other related forms of punishment that the juvenile would be required to perform. It could be a detention center, compulsory counseling, community service and the likes.

There are a variety of options that Juvenile court judges select from a range of legal options, so that the safety requirements of the public are met.


Children are unarguably the loveliest set of persons to grace this Earth.

Hence, it is important that they are treated with ample care and affection, so that they can grow up to be individuals that the society can be proud of.

If you observe closely, a good number of people who live rough lives as adults, and engage in all sorts of negative vices, definitely had a bad childhood while growing up.

Parents need to ensure that they do not overlook the welfare of a child. This is the stage where the formation of his entire being takes place, and it is important that parents are actively involved at this phase.

It would be a sorry sight if a child develops a tolerance towards substance abuse without the knowledge of his or her parents. Definitely, that child would be an addict in no time.

Also, parents need to be careful of what they do in the presence of their children. Children pick up things really fast, and since it is coming from someone they trust, their parents, they would most likely imbibe what they see them do.

Hence, parents need to make sure that at all times, they put up behaviors that are worthy of emulation, that their children would grow up with.

In addition to this, parents need to ensure that they do not neglect the nutrition of their child.

For instance, on a general basis, children love sugary foods. However, it is known that too much is dangerous, and it has to be limited.

Hence, it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to dish out the appropriate quantity.

Sugary foods should also not be used as incentives to make them do something. Rather, fruits and enough water should be given to children on a frequent basis.

Next, children should also be thought the idea of exercising, there is no need giving them an in-depth explanation at this phase.

All that is needed, is giving them the basic idea that they will understand. As they age, they would certainly have a better idea.


It would be hard to come to terms with the fact that a child or teenager would be addicted.

A good number of times, people tend to overlook the fact that adolescents can be addicted, and before they notice, it becomes too late.

In the addiction process, the focus is always on adults and not children, and people seem to forget the fact that, a good number of these adults became addicted at their adolescent age.

This has been an ongoing trend which must be looked into and modified. In the addiction process, everybody should be carried along.

One of the usual causes of addiction in adolescents is inquisitiveness. This is the point of their lives when they want to know how everything works.

In addition, they also want to know the effect of everything they see on their bodies. Judging from what they have seen on Television or the Social Media, they want to have a first-hand experience.

Usually, during the course of all this experimentation, it is done without the supervision of an adult.

There is this fear that is nursed when they want to try something out, so they would rather not involve anyone who is much older than them. They would prefer to involve their peers.  

This is what leads to peer pressure. When adolescents see what their mates are doing, they are often compelled to give it a trial. If they do not, they would not be rated among their peers.

So, they would go ahead not minding if there are detrimental effects attached to this.

If it is substance abuse, the adolescent develops a tolerance for it, and begins taking it on a regular basis. Before you know it, an abuse sets in, and addiction follows shortly.

Without proper monitoring, an adolescent who is addicted, would very likely grow up with this addiction.

Attending to the addiction of adolescents is essential because, it saves us a truckload of adult addiction cases. It is also easier to offer addiction treatment at that age, rather than when they are much older.


Children have often been labelled as at-risk with a variety of many pointers ranging from having experienced abuse or mistreatment, having disabilities or illness or having exhibited one form of behavioral problems or the other.

Nonetheless, we can define an at-risk child as a child that has a slight probability of positive transition into adulthood. Positive transition could be the ability to be independent and be a positive member of the society avoiding the negative vices such as a life of crime or delinquency.

There are several factors that makes a child being identified as at-risk and these factors influences negatively successful transition into adulthood. For instance, children who come from poverty stricken families often tend to be stigmatized by peers and this in turn spurs some kind of negative responses from them leading to engage in delinquent behaviors and are less likely to have a smooth transition into adulthood.

Research has shown that there is an increased rate of crime, unwanted pregnancies and drop out among the low income families and all these tendencies identifies the children that find themselves in this category at-risk.

Also, we have socio-cultural factors which includes single parenthood, family breakdown, divorce, remarriage and ethnic bias. Children of parents that are divorced, separated or remarried have been place in a state of dejection and neglect which may lead to psychological problems and this in turn encourage them to start displaying bad traits as result of their predicament. As a result, their effective transition into an adult becomes shattered. Many a times, these children are lured into delinquent acts.

Similarly, another reason why children are labelled as at-risk is a result of abuse and violence. Children are often times exposed to physical and sexual abuse which may include torture, rape or even slavery. As a result of conditions such as improper care and support by their parents probably due to breakdown or divorce, the children suffer abuse of different kinds. This prompts negative behavioral responses in the child.

Furthermore, children who suffer from one form of disability or illness or the other are considered at-risk because they tend to have a low self-esteem and disregard of their present state. These children with disabilities are sometimes exposed to maltreatment, bullying and abuse from peers or older ones and this in turn leads to depression and neglect.



An alarming number of young people are currently under-going severe cases of psychological and emotional problems ranging from dejection, depression, addictions which even involves substance abuse which may result from maltreatment, abuse, bad parenting and this may end up putting the lives of the youths at risk or in danger.

There are a number of interventions that could go a long way in ameliorating this situation which involves programs or means designed to help these young ones in trouble. For example, there are counselling programs which are provided on an individual or group basis. The at-risk youth could go through a mentoring process where there is someone to be accountable to.

Also there are several outreach services for the at-risk youth which gives therapy to youths that have undergone abuse or some sought of depression in one way the other. One of these services include: anger and behavior management classes which helps to curb any form of negative reactions from the troubled youths. Most of the at-risk youths already have a battered identity resulting from the horrible experiences they have gone through, therefore counselling can provide a way of developing their self-esteem.

Similarly, there are chemical health assessments which provides a form of evaluation on the health safety of the at-risk youth probably engaging in drug abuse or any other substance abuse, and this is in turn helps them to be aware of the dangers and effect of taking such substances.

Also, there are programs or intervention services that offer and provide life-skills training to at-risk youths which helps them enhance a proper self-image, character and encourage an attitude to become productive members of the society because too often these youths feel disconnected and rejected from their society and common responses are to act out (anti-social behaviors) or withdraw (chemical abuse leading to mental health issues). Some of the training includes self-esteem, character development, substance abuse prevention, effective communication amongst others.

In addition, in order to change the orientation of these youths at risk and help they see themselves as agent of change in the society is by teaching them to take responsibilities. This can be done by engaging them in social works. Involving the at-risk youth in social works such as taking up volunteer jobs to offer services in public programs can help them channel their energies towards positive options and alternatives.



In order to prevent youthful perpetrators of crime from experiencing the capital punishment given out by a court of law, and also to encourage rehabilitation of young offenders of the law instead of condemning them to a degree of penalty for their offence, hence a juvenile justice system is set up.

The juvenile justice system focuses on helping the young and adolescent by acting in the best interest of the child. It does not take into consideration the crime that brought the young offender into reprimand, but actually provides a platform to assist and train them to deter from such criminal acts.

Juveniles are not charged with crime, seen as guilty and sent to prison as seen in a normal court process, but are rather found delinquent or sent to a training or reform school in order to reorient them. Juveniles are not punished for a crime, but helped to dissuade from the act of delinquency. The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment.


The steps taking in a juvenile court are rather informal when compared to a regular court process. If a juvenile is found guilty of a criminal offence after evidence attests to this act, the juvenile is detained and placed under hearing known as adjudication by only a juvenile judge which is closed to the public, and remained confidential so as not to affect the juvenile’s ability to be reintegrated into the society and protecting them from stigma when their records are publicly available.

This is opposed to a regular criminal court in which juries and the public are present to hear the case. The juvenile judge decides the penalty for the juvenile after going through the various evidences brought before the court. The penalties may include a juvenile detention center, community service, mandatory counselling under close supervision, paying of fines as the case demands or may be put under probation depending on the intensity of the crime committed.

Although, they may be confined to juvenile correction facilities that sometimes seem like an adult prison or jail and imposing correctional facilities, the juveniles are entitled to educational training while incarcerated. Juvenile court judges pick from a variety of legal options to meet the safety requirements of the public and also the treatment needs of the juvenile offender.