Vulnerable youth can feel overwhelmed and isolated and unable to function in society as they grow.
They may feel they don’t measure up to certain standards and the standards of the role models they have around them. They may be unrealistic standards but they are still standards nevertheless. Young people can feel an overwhelming sense of shame and failure and that can ‘feed’ a lack of confidence, so it’s easy to slide into the company of people that feel and act the same, where they feel comfortable and known, gangs for instance.
Abused and/or neglected youth often also suffer from the trauma of family separation. Without intervention, these traumas can lead to negative outcomes in education, physical health and often lead to unemployment, criminal behaviour, vulnerability to further abuse, poverty, and teenage parenthood.
Though we don’t have a focus on any ethnicity or race, the students who come are predominately Maori, so the following statistics are relevant. In 2013, the total number of Maori youth in Ngaruawahia to Taupiri to Huntly area was estimated to be 1086, The total number of all youth was approximately 1999 and approximately 288 were not in employment, any education or training. Equally concerning is the number of younger students (under 15 yrs) who are at risk of becoming one of these statistics and who would benefit from our services.
There are hundreds and hundreds more in our communities.
What is a Vulnerable
The reality for some of our young people is that difficult life and family circumstances, poor choices, or addiction to drugs and alcohol can put them out of step and in the wrong direction, where poor lifestyle choices are made. As a result, they feel negative self worth and are more likely to be disengaged, unemployed, involved in crime and have poor health outcomes. This includes those affected by traumatic experiences.
"Youth in foster care are three to six times more likely than youth not in care to have emotional, behavioural and developmental problems, including conduct disorders, depression, difficulties in school and impaired social relationships."