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ACT for Youth

Building Skills for Adulthood

How can we help young people prepare for adulthood? Creating and promoting developmental opportunities and supports for young people helps them avoid harmful behaviors and develop the competencies, confidence, values, and social connectedness they need to transition positively to adulthood. Skill-building areas include:

Healthy Adolescent Development
Young people who are prepared for adulthood feel comfortable with their bodies, know how to take care of their bodies, have a sense of identity, are emotionally healthy, and understand the consequences of risk behaviors.

Parent-Child Communication
Young people who are prepared for adulthood are able to talk with their parents, caregivers, or other adults they trust about the challenges in their lives, including sexual health and identity. Parents who are equipped to prepare their children for adulthood understand adolescent development, including sexual development. They are knowledgeable about the challenges adolescents face and are open to talking with their children about sensitive topics.

Relationship Skills
Young people who are prepared for adulthood have the social skills to develop friendships, youth-adult partnerships, and intimate relationships. They understand the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships and have the skills to deal with conflicts.

Healthy Life Skills
Young people develop self-efficacy -- belief in their own capacity to succeed -- when they have opportunities to learn and practice skills in real life settings. Youth who are prepared for adulthood are comfortable demonstrating fundamental life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and coping skills.

Career Success
Young people who are prepared for adulthood know how to develop goals and explore career paths. They build job readiness skills and work toward educational goals that support career success.

Financial Literacy
Young people who are prepared for adulthood have the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to manage finances and navigate financial institutions.