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Birth to 22: Utilizing Community Conversations to Enrich the Youth Master Plan 2.0

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Birth to 22: Utilizing Community Conversations to Enrich the Youth Master Plan 2.0


The Youth Master Plan (YMP) “Strengthening the Steps to Success" was launched by Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures in 2015 after holding 11 community conversations in the Palm Beach County community and surveying hundreds of youth. Six major areas of need were identified, and as a result, Action Teams and Workgroups were created to address the needs and provide logistics support. As Birth to 22 approaches its 10-year anniversary, it is time to update the Youth Master Plan with the YMP 2.0.

As when the original version of the YMP was created, the alliance believes community collaboration is essential to maintain the standpoint of nothing about us, without us. Birth to 22 can only successfully provide support to our children, youth, and families after first hearing what gaps and concerns exist within our communities.

With the eleven community conversations held in the spring of 2023, Birth to 22 reached 222 youth and 180 adults. The alliance provided facts about the community and the strategic priority areas of mental health, economics, and education around youth transitioning to adulthood. The participants were asked about the needs, gaps, and recommendations related to these topics.

Next, Birth to 22 facilitated two Community Conversations targeting the community-based organizations that provide direct services to the youth and families. The first conversation was held virtually on August 23, 2023, with 27 participants. The second was held in-person at the Children's Services Council on September 6, 2023, with 28 participants. Conversation facilitator, Jeanette Gordon of McArthur's Own, guided the conversation with questions about the priority areas.


Finally, on September 19, 2023, a youth-led conversation was held at Vita Nova, an agency that is a safe bridge to independence for former foster care, LGBTQ, and other homeless youth. The youth were candid and open with their answers about resources, safety, and programs. They identified gaps in services, education, and support and provided recommendations and insight into programs that they find safe and impactful.