A Step-by-Step Guide to Using the ANTHC Healthy Youth Relationships Community Toolkit
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has collaborated with rural and urban communities to make locally and culturally-relevant resources addressing domestic and sexual violence (DV/SV) and supporting healthy families and relationships. These include regional resource guides to DV/SV services and prevention efforts, a user-friendly data book, an online training for healthcare providers, safety cards, posters, and a brand new Youth Healthy Relationships Community Toolkit.
This toolkit is for anyone in a community (elders, youth peer educators, teachers, nurses, health aides, parents, etc.) who wants to work with youth to support them to have safety and healthy relationships. And by community, we don’t only mean Alaskan communities. Save a few references to Alaska you can take out and replace, these resources could be used (and modified for) anywhere.
The community toolkit and all the other resources can be found at: www.anthctoday.org/epicenter/healthyfamilies/
Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see this:
To try to make this toolkit as user-friendly as possible for as wide of an audience as possible (including people who are not experts in trauma or in youth engagement), we’ve created a guide.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this toolkit to work with youth in your community, school, place of faith, culture camp, clinic, peer education group, etc.
Check out all of the available resources at www.anthctoday.org/epicenter/healthyfamilies/– the “Getting Together” and “We Are Worthy” safety cards and posters, which you can order printed copies of on the website; the regional resource guides for DV/SV services, which you can print from the website; an online training specifically for healthcare providers; and at the very bottom of the page, the community toolkit for youth! Look through all of the materials in the toolkit to get a feel for them. These materials include:
A.) Powerpoint presentation that YOU can give. It has extensive notes (in the note section of each slide) that help you with what to say for each slide, and even activities you can lead. The presentation is youth-friendly, full of links to YouTube videos and other pop culture references and examples that include and affirm LGBTQ youth, Alaska Native youth, and all of our diverse population of young people. Plus, you can change the slides to meet your community’s needs and include additional images and links and activities.
NOTE: The presentation is divided into 4 separate files for easier downloading when internet is slow. You can put them all back together into one presentation.
B.) The 11 ANTHC-produced skits starring Alaskan youth. The skits demonstrate aspects of healthy and unhealthy relationships, what consent means, how to help a friend, how adults can talk with young people about difficult topics, and more. [Be warned that some of the skits contain explicit language; the goal was for them to be as realistic as possible, and youth played a major role in deciding what was realistic and would resonate with them.] Each skit is followed by a debrief by professionals, discussing why behaviors were abusive, healthy, etc. and offering additional resources.
C.) Scripts for creating your own skits with youth and debriefing them
D.) An extensive resource list with Alaskan and national/international videos, websites, articles, books, and more that address the topics in the community toolkit.
E.) This step-by-step guide
Step 2.) Prepare
Do you already meet with an existing group of youth, or present regularly to classrooms or other groups? Or do you need to create an opportunity for youth to gather, and do some recruiting? Pro tip: If you are not a youth/teen yourself, make sure you have a youth advisor as you plan things like time, place, food to serve, and how to get the word out. (Did I mention food? Food is always helpful for getting people to attend.)
Also, you could lead a workshop with youth and their parents/guardians, or youth with elders, or a general community group of all ages. Many of the materials, including two of the skits, speak to adults as well as teens. If you do combine ages, this provides an important opportunity for cross-generational conversation, but make sure to build in opportunities for youth to share and be heard without fear of judgment. You might even host some mixed-age groups, some youth-only groups, and some adult-only groups.
B.) Order printed materials
Most of the materials can be downloaded and used, or viewed online. To order printed cards and posters, just fill out the order forms on the website (www.anthctoday.org/epicenter/healthyfamilies/ ) a few weeks before you need them. If you are in Alaska, you can also ask your region’s domestic violence agency if they have copies to give you. (You can reach your regional DV agency by calling the National DV Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or by calling 211)
C.) Study Up
If you feel like you want to gain more knowledge and comfort on any of the topics being addressed in the card or workshop, the resource list is a great place to go for more in-depth information. You will also likely find videos or activities that you want to add in to the workshop.
D.) Figure out your flow
Think through what tools you want to use and how you want to transition from the Powerpoint to the video skits to activities and back to the Powerpoint, etc. Think about and write down what questions you will ask along the way.
Plan to start out with a potluck, ice-breakers, songs, dancing, or whatever activities will help people feel at home and safe. It is also helpful to start out by agreeing on some norms for the group. First Alaskans Institute provides some helpful norms/agreements you can use: http://firstalaskans.org/wp-co...Agreements-FINAL.pdf
As you plan the rest of the flow, write out very clear instructions for any activities you will have people do. (If people get confused about the instructions, you might lose them for a long time.)
You do not have to use all of the slides and all of the skits in one session. You could plan for multiple sessions, each one addressing one or two panels of the card only and building in lots of time for dialogue. You could also combine these tools with an existing curriculum or activities. For example, a lesson on the IÑupiat Ilitqusiat (values) might link the value of Responsibility to Tribe to the card panel on “how to help someone” and the skits with the same name, as well as the skit called “Friends talk about consent, age, and drinking: How to step up and help.”
Practice with friends, colleagues, a video-camera, a mirror, anyone or anything that can give you feedback and a chance to talk through and figure out how to word things. You don’t have to do this, but it can make you more comfortable at your workshop.
Step 3.) Have fun!
Working with young people is fun! Here are some tips to make it super fun and effective:
A.) Keep a perky pace.
B.) Be enthusiastic and authentic.
C.) Be non-judgmental, meeting teens where they are at and helping them there. The goal is healthy, consensual, non-abusive relationships of all kinds, and all teens – whether they are engaged in negative behaviors or not – deserve and can work towards this.
D.) Be inclusive of teens of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender expressions, and disability statuses. For more information on how to do this, check out these pages on the Advocates for Youth website:
- GLBTQ youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.o...sues/glbtq?task=view
- Youth with Disabilities: http://www.advocatesforyouth.o...sabilities?task=view
- Cultural Competency: http://www.advocatesforyouth.o...competency?task=view
E.) Lead with love: If teens know you really care about their well-being and enjoy them, they won’t feel the same need to be defensive.
F.) Avoid lecturing. Instead, invite discussion, listen, and engage in conversation. Teach about healthy relationships, but do so artfully. Asking questions to help people to think critically, sharing a story or analogy, suggesting other ways of thinking, or sharing information they didn’t know can be a much more effective way of teaching than to simply tell them why they’re wrong.
G.) Find opportunities for movement.
H.) Ask for feedback and guidance from youth and other members of the community as you develop these workshops and use the materials. Sometimes critical feedback can sting a little bit, but if we remain humble and take it as an opportunity to learn, we can become more effective as teachers, leaders, and mentors.
I.) Remember, you don’t have to know everything! You can call the numbers on the back of the safety cards 24/7 to ask questions, and can encourage the youth to call or text those numbers and look at the websites on the card and on the resource list. You can even turn to these resources together to answer questions, thereby teaching youth how to be resourceful and reach out for help.
Also, if you'd like to read more about the safety cards and our other materials, you can do so here: https://www.acesconnection.com/...-youth-who-need-help