The important principle that "it takes a village to raise a child" needs to be updated. It takes a family, a community, schools and activities, peers and media to raise today's child. In many cases, a faith congregation, youth group, or part-time job are also part of the picture. All these social systems function within larger society and the spirit of the times.
The greatest flaw in the way we deal with young people-and especially with their problems-is in acting as if each social system is its own world and that issues can be resolved alone within any one of them. Rather, school problems are related to home and community situations. And media and friends are taking over much of the traditional function of family and schools. And all are affected by economics and governments.
We must commit ourselves to "systems thinking," a strong recognition that all social systems are interacting and influencing the others, that causes sought in a singular way and solutions proposed from a single perspective may not only fail but be counterproductive.
That is why this Center for Youth Studies web site commits itself to portraying a dynamic interaction of social systems and seeks to explain behavior by taking into account what is happening at home, on the streets or in the mall of a community, in schools and activities, among friends and in the media.
Here then, you will find a Family Center, Community (& Government) Center, a School Center, a Media Center, as well as centers for Youth-At-Risk and Youth Ministry (including churches). In each case you will find a dynamic scene, then an Introduction to that center, and finally resources available within that system of our lives.
Hopefully, you will not only profit from each Center but keep in mind their dynamic interaction.
2012 Center for Youth Studies