The Promise of Adolescence, a recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, examines the neurobiological and socio-behavioral science of adolescent development and identifies how these findings can be applied to four key sectors: health, education, justice, and child welfare.
Our understanding of adolescence has fundamentally changed over the past several decades. New insights from research reveal how changes in brain structure and function (such as the strengthening of connections within and between brain regions and the pruning away of unused connections) that occur during adolescence afford young people a remarkable capacity to learn, adapt to changes, and explore their own creativity.
But this understanding is not reflected in the current structure of the child welfare system, which was primarily designed to meet the needs of younger children. Adolescents’ more advanced developmental needs and abilities are not fully incorporated in the system’s aims and methods. Moreover, there are disparities within the child welfare system, with poor children and children of color being disproportionally referred to the child welfare system.
In this webinar, two members of the expert committee that authored The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, Leslie Leve (University of Oregon) and Susan Mangold (Juvenile Law Center), explored adolescent development science and opportunities for continued reform in the child welfare system.
Learn more about The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth Webinar Series.