Defining At-Risk

Below are examples of characteristics that have been used by our current YAP Partners in determining “at-risk” factors for children and teens.  Assume for the purposes of this exercise that “at-risk” also includes special needs and low income youth.  Please note that this list is by no means all inclusive and is a very generalized sampling.


Youth qualifies for free and reduced lunch program through school

Youth has been in or is in foster care

Youth and/or parent struggles with substance abuse

Physical or verbal abuse of the youth in the home

Non-English speaking parents

Youth is involved in the court system

Family receives food stamps, disability or government assistance

Youth has experienced transiency or homelessness

Truancy issues

History of mental illness in the immediate family

Death in the immediate family

Youth has experienced depression or suicidal tendencies

A family member has been incarcerated

Youth lacks one or both significant parental role models

Youth is a teen parent

Youth experiences extensive emotional and/or behavioral issues