REACH Edmonton

Registration is now open for the third biennial Allies 4 Youth Conference (A4YC). From May 14-15, 2018, the conference will bring together service providers, researchers, experts, and youth to focus on the growing population of young people with increasingly complex needs.

This conference will specifically focus on youth homelessness, aboriginal youth and social justice, ethnocultural youth and trauma, and the voice of youth, keeping in mind that all youth deserve the opportunity to live their lives in a meaningful way, to feel safe, and to experience a sense of inclusion and belonging.

This work with youth incorporates the most recent research, literature and trends in areas such as trauma, attachment and brain development in children and youth, harm reduction, resilience, strength-based practice, collaborative, multi-disciplinary practice, and trauma-informed intervention.

"This conference will specifically focus on trauma, attachment and brain development, and explore challenges that youth experiencing high risk circumstances face related to education and employment, diversity and identity, and addictions and mental health," said Rebecca Stiller, co-chair of the A4YC steering committee.

This year's conference will be held at the Edmonton Marriot at River Cree Resort on 300 E Lapotac Blvd, Edmonton.

Previously, the conference had been titled the High Risk Youth Conference (HYRC).

The intention of the name change is a shift away from the labelling of the term High-risk youth. While HRYC is well known and a descriptive name that references not only a specific event, but also a specific practice framework and philosophy with a sub-group of youth, it does not justify using a negative label that can follow youth into adulthood, and as parents. The A4YC Steering Committee feels that convenience to us as service providers does not justify a label that can have a negative impact on youth.

"We looked for a name that is consistent with a strength-based approach to working with youth and to foster an anti-oppressive mindset," said Stiller. "While a lengthy, but worthwhile effort, we found a new name for our conference."

For more information, or to register for the conference, click here []