YRUU A Five-Year Review of Programs for Youth 1989 - Delivery of Services

YRUU Five Year Review

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YRUU 5 Year Review - III - Findings and Recommendations

E. Delivery of services
The "primary function" of YRUU, as defined in its bylaws, is "to assist district and local member groups. . . ." (Footnote 13) Other benefits of YRUU activities to Youth Council members, Youth Program Specialists, and to individual members, should be secondary to this goal.

The Youth Office serves local and district leaders by telephone or mail and through workshops at conferences and the General Assembly. Each congregation receives Youth Advisory, a newsletter for adult advisors, in the REACH packet; other printed materials such as the Local Programs Handbook and the yet-to-be completed "conference planning handbook" are for purchase. Youth Council members keep in touch through Spider, a newsletter published by the Youth Office. When the Youth Staff has been able to travel to district YACS, they have been able to share information about roles and structures that have worked in other districts, provide resources and training, and give moral support. The annual Continental Conference, held in August, serves those who attend, but also strengthens YRUU by giving unity to the organization and by providing a forum for the exchange of information and skills.

The quarterly YRUU newspaper, Synapse, is sent to a mailing list of 1 1,600 gathered from YRUU district and local organizations. Synapse provides a forum for poems, letters. and articles from its readers. and contains program suggestions, worship ideas, social action information. and other material helpful to district and local leaders.

Participation by Youth Program Specialists in national and continental programs, such as the UU United Nations Office Conference and the National Workshop for Social Justice of the UUA Washington Office, is less obviously related to the goal of service to district and local YRUU groups It is difficult to see how the use of travel money for these programs, worthwhile as they are, can be justified in view of the comparatively small number of youth who participate. Perhaps the sponsoring organizations themselves could fund participation by young people in planning these events.

The ability of the Youth Staff to serve local youth groups is limited. Travel budgets and time pressures do not permit on-site consultation with many local societies. Districts, on the other hand, offer a particular "economy of scale" in enabling direct contact with a fairly large number of youth through a relatively low number of visits or trips. This is particularly so when district YRUU leaders can be helped to provide local consultation. In an ideal world, we might wish for enough UUA staff to provide direct consultation locally, but, realistically, service through districts- especially under a "training-of-trainers" model- is the best approach.

1. We recommend that the Youth Office's first priority (relative to YRUU) be service to district youth programs, including training for adult and youth leaders and consulting with district youth adult committees. We affirm this priority even if it means discontinuing staff planning of and travel to programs which, while valuable, either only serve a narrow range of interests or relatively few people, or are being offered by other organizations.

2. We recommend that the Youth Office continue, as a much lower priority, to serve local groups by telephone, by mail, and through workshops at the GA, but not ordinarily in person.

3. We recommend that the Youth Office travel budget be increased by $4,000 to cover the above priorities.

13 YRUU Bylaws, Article II, Section 2 [Back]


Translated from the original text document to htm by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on lryer.org. I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that lryer.org appears to be down.

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