New report shows more disconnected teens and young adults - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New report shows more disconnected teens and young adults

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(12/03/12) - They're called "disconnected youth." That means they're not in school and not working. And a new report shows the number of teens and young adults in this situation is on the rise.

The Annie Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT data was released Monday. Area agencies that advocate for children say they're not surprised by the numbers.

"The traditional methods for connecting with these young people aren't working anymore," says Amy Krug with Priority Children.

There are 220,000 teens and young adults ages 16 to 24 considered disconnected in Michigan. In 2000, that number was about 13 percent of that age group. By 2011, it jumped to 17 percent .

Krug and other youth agencies we spoke to tell us they aren't surprised by KIDS COUNT'S findings. Last year, a Genesee County coalition group released their own report, "Hidden Crisis." It showed similar numbers. They also developed a ten-step action plan which included social media networking.
These are the types of efforts Krug says are essential getting kids back in school. "You can't go to school to help a kid get into school if they're not there. How do you reconnect to school? And maybe you don't want to go back to school that you were suspended from. Maybe you want to go to an alternative high school or another high school. How do you go about doing that?"

Krug says alternative education options are one of the ways disconnected youth have a chance.
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