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ACR-197 Children: from at-risk to at-promise.(2017-2018)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 197

Relative to children.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  June 26, 2018. ]


ACR 197, Jones-Sawyer. Children: from at-risk to at-promise.
This measure would encourage the people of the State of California to recognize the potential and possibilities of our children, instead of focusing on their deficits.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Society uses the phrase “at-risk youth” to describe youth in different living situations that lead them toward failure in the educational system, and into the mass incarceration system or low-skilled jobs; and
WHEREAS, “At-risk youth” is a label to describe children in lower socioeconomic standings, children whose parents have little formal education, and students from undocumented working-class families; and
WHEREAS, “At-risk youth” is a label that describes the potential number of youth who are predicted to fail, despite never being given a chance to prove otherwise, never being given the same access to resources and guidance as other young people, and never enjoying the privileges and opportunities afforded other young people; and
WHEREAS, When describing how our “at-risk” children are viewed in the education system, the terminology has shifted from “culturally deprived” and “deficient,” which are phrases that were widely used in the 1960s and 1970s, to “disadvantaged,” which is a term that was used in the 1980s, to the currently popular label “at risk”; and
WHEREAS, The previous “at-risk” model was a deficit model that was based on the assumption that if the criteria fit the child, then the child must have some sort of deficit. In contrast, the “at-promise” model is based on assessing the child’s strengths; and
WHEREAS, Labeling youth as “at risk” often tends to have negative effects on the child and may even be damaging; and
WHEREAS, “At-Promise Youth” focuses on the raw potential that each individual can access within himself or herself if he or she is treated as if he or she shows promise; and
WHEREAS, At-Promise Youth is a strength-based approach that honors the strengths and gifts innate to youth; and
WHEREAS, At-Promise Youth broadens our perspectives and attempts to focus our attention on some of the details regarding youth and their individual strengths, and reminds us that we all have natural gifts, positive qualities, and potential for goodness. The act of focusing on strengths is different from the cultural norm of focusing on what needs improvement; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby encourages the people of the State of California to recognize the potential and possibilities of our children, instead of focusing on their deficits; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.