Youth-Adult Partnerships in Work with Youth: An Overview

Ramey, H. L., Lawford, H. L., & Vachon, W. (2017). Youth-adult partnerships in work with youth: An overview. Journal of Youth Development, 12(4), 38-60. Retrieved from


Youth-adult partnerships in child and youth services engage the participants in collaborative, shared decision making, in areas such as governance, program planning and implementation, and advocacy. However, these partnerships often occur in isolation, and fail to engage in potentially useful, larger conversations about theory and research. Therefore, in an effort to provide common grounds for understanding and engaging in such partnerships, we offer an overview of current literature. We discuss definitions and discourses, describe models of youth-adult partnerships, and briefly consider current research on potential benefits for youth, adults, organizations, and communities. We also present challenges and promising practices for adult allies engaged in youth-adult partnerships.


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