Title

Creating Safe Out-Of-School-Time Programs with LBGTQ Youth

Location

Vernon

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

This presentation contributes to the safety and violence prevention theme by offering youth-serving professionals evidence-based strategies to promote the physical and psychological safety of LBGTQ young people in the context of out-of-school-time programs (e.g., after-school programs, summer camps, extra-curricular activities).

Brief Program Description

This presentation is designed for out-of-school-time practitioners as well as scholars who work with LBGTQ youth. Participants in this session will leave with a set of evidence-based strategies to provide safe out-of-school-time experiences with LBGTQ youth which will emanate from the presenter’s research, literature review, and group discussion among attendees.

Summary

Youth who identify as LBGTQ face higher rates of many health risks than their heterosexual peers, including: substance use, suicide attempts, and physical harassment. Out-of-school-time programs are well suited to enhance the well-being of LBGTQ youth because a.) these services are located in most communities within the United States and b.) past scholarship has identified a range of positive outcomes linked with participation. However, studies have also shown that LBGTQ youth tend to avoid out-of-school-time programs altogether or report negative experiences when they do participate. As such, identifying best practices to promote safe out-of-school-time experiences is a promising approach to improving the everyday lives of LBGTQ youth. Taking stock and taking action are two promising approaches to creating safe out-of-school-time programs with LBGTQ youth. Taking stock involves an honest assessment of what staff members know and what assumptions they might have about the LBGTQ community. Exploring what you know involves not only individual and group level knowledge but also reviewing the program website, policies, and staff training manuals for sections which address queer young people. The second approach to creating safe out of school time programs, taking action, offers a range of possible responses to the results of taking stock. For example, taking action might involve alteration to staff training, mission statements, or policies. Actions within the everyday operation of the program such as intervening in instances of harassment, supporting freedom of expression, and facilitating multiple levels of engagement are also effective tools.

Evidence

I offer strategies to provide safe recreation experiences with LBGTQ youth developed through six months of qualitative fieldwork with an out-of-school-time program which serves LBGTQ youth. Fieldwork included sixteen interviews (10 staff members, 6 young people), participant observation of every event offered by the center, and document review. Results of the study were triangulated with existing research in out-of-school-time contexts to ensure that state-of-the-art knowledge is represented.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Daniel Theriault is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Benedict College. His research explores strategies to create inclusive and health promoting recreation programs with marginalized young people.

Keyword Descriptors

social justice; recreation; after school; queer

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2015 9:45 AM

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Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

Creating Safe Out-Of-School-Time Programs with LBGTQ Youth

Vernon

This presentation is designed for out-of-school-time practitioners as well as scholars who work with LBGTQ youth. Participants in this session will leave with a set of evidence-based strategies to provide safe out-of-school-time experiences with LBGTQ youth which will emanate from the presenter’s research, literature review, and group discussion among attendees.