Connecting for Stability: Understanding The Relatives and the Young People They Serve

Report by Jenny Hutchison, Sydney Idzikowski, Trish Hobson
February 22, 2023

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute   (Charlotte)

As a community, we often talk about the young people who are the “most vulnerable” or who are at “high risk.” Admittedly, we don’t always know who exactly those young people are and what their experiences have been. And far too often, those labels become the only story we associate with them. We don’t always know how to get them the support and care they need to thrive and we don’t often recognize their strengths and capabilities. 

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Regional Data Trust partnered with The Relatives to better understand the young people they serve and the young people’s understanding of the effective components of The Relatives programs. The Relatives has worked closely with young people who are considered vulnerable and at risk since 1974. The study and partnership with The Relatives provides a deeper understanding of young people in our community who have some of the most complex challenges and who have experienced multiple risk factors that can jeopardize their success. It also points to the real strengths of young people who face realities many can’t imagine.