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Practical guide and theoretical manifesto, New Frontiers for Youth Development is a vital roadmap to the problems and prospects of youth development programs today and in the future.
In response to an unprecedented array of challenges, policy makers and care providers in the field of youth dvevelopment have begun to expand the field both practically and conceptually. This expansion has thus far outstripped comprehensive analysis of the issues it raises, among them the important matter of establishing common standards of legitimacy and competence for practitioners. New Frontiers for Youth Development is an overview of the field designed to foster a better understanding of the multifaceted aspects and inherent tensions of youth development.
Melvin Delgado outlines the broad social forces that affect youth, particularly at-risk or marginalized youth, and the programs designed to address their needs. He stresses the importance of a contextualized approach that avoids rigid standardization and is attuned to the many factors that shape a child's development: cognitive, emotional, physical, moral, social, and spiritual. The key characteristic of youth development in the twenty-first century, Delgado suggests, is the participation of young people as practitioners themselves. Youth must be seen as assets as well as clients, incorporated into the educational process in ways that build character, maturity, and self-confidence.