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A quick scan of research on the subject of "youth at risk" yields a plethora of statistics and analysis of varying scope (worldwide or nation by nation). The UN estimates that the world today has 3 billion people under age 25, and the youth population is projected to increase to 3.5 billion by 2020. There is no shortage of concern or information on the subject, nor of groups who have developed various approaches to solving the problems, but clearly no magic formula has been found to greatly diminish the at-risk dilemma. Just over a dozen years ago, the author wrote a special report for THE FUTURIST entitled "Youth at Risk: Saving the World's Most Precious Resource" (March-April 1997). The report outlined the growing problems of children and adolescents and offered an eight-point plan to save these youth. This article assesses their previous work and offers a twenty-first-century approach to the issue.
Youth at Risk In a new look at the plan he proposed a dozen years A New Plan for Saving ago, a criminal-justice scholar draws on the the World’s Most insights of a Delphi panel of experts to develop new Precious Resource strategies for improving the prospects for today’s at-risk youth. By Gene Stephens A quick scan of research on the © 2010 World Future Society • 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 450, subject of “youth at risk” yields a Bethesda, MD 20814, U.S.A. • All rights reserved. plethora of statistics and analysis of varying scope (worldwide or nation by nation). The United Nations esti- mates that the world today has 3 bil- lion people under age 25, and the youth population is projected to in- crease to 3.5 billion by 2020. How many of these growing num- bers of young people are “at risk”? All of them, according to some advo- cacy groups. The UN found 500 million young people living on less than $2 a day — and half of those had to sur- vive on less than $1. One hundred million or more are not in school, and almost as many are unem- ployed. While the International Child and Youth Care Network de- fines “at risk” as “youths … being failed by one or more adults or adult- JUAN MONINO / ISTOCKPHOTO driven system or institution,” Family First Aid maintains that “any child that grows up in this world is ‘at risk’ in some way.” There is no shortage of concern or information on the subject, nor of COLLAGE BY LISA MATHIAS / IMAGES FROM PHOTODISC groups who have developed various laws of society, lack of hope and faith cigarettes. Some parents will do all approaches to solving the problems, in the future (a belief that the future they can to raise their kids but clearly no magic formula has can be better), dropping out of right — and their kids may still make been found to greatly diminish the
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