Young people and those involved in their care require a range of external resources and assets to cope effectively with crisis. Clearly, material resources such as income, housing and transport are vital. Perhaps more important is the availability of helpful human relationships and safe places or havens that can provide respite. Where these resources aren’t naturally available, young people might require professional assistance.
This might mean that services provide particular resources such as a safe physical environment or transportation. Depending on the nature of the crisis and the young person’s specific needs, other agencies can include emergency services, AOD services, mental health services, homelessness services, 24-hour telephone counselling services, and support services that provide material aid.
Youth AOD clients, particularly those who are minors, require caregivers to protect them from harm and regulate their experiences as they develop. In this way, parents and/or legal guardians have a stake in how the health and safety of youth AOD clients is managed (see Section 6.5, Developmentally conducive connections). The capacity of parents and guardians to protect those in their care is helped and hindered by aspects of the wider environment (Hyde, 2005; Rhodes, 2002). Services should therefore be capable of providing young people and their carers with meaningful information, support and guidance through times of crisis.
In times of crisis, young people might also draw on cultural and/or spiritual connections with others for support and guidance.
Summary of relevant resources and assets
- Material resources (income, housing, safe physical environments, etc.)
- Human resources (providing care, support & reinforcement)
- Caring guardians capable of providing appropriate discipline & monitoring (could be family)
- Cultural/spiritual connections
- Connection with enabling places
- Availability & accessibility of relevant health & community services