Parents and families are crucial.
In addressing the needs of youth, there has to be ways to support parents and families, helping them to engage in the success of their children. This looks different in every situation. There is no magic solution that covers all the situations that families face.
The one thing that allows works is proximity and dialogue. Be close to the kids, and the families that hold them so dear. Look for needs that you can help meet.
A mom of one of the young men that I spend time with has cancer. She gets tired a lot. She takes care of him, a baby sister, works and fights off a disease. So, I take the kids out for a meal, let her get some rest or just some stuff done around the house. It is a small thing that has a big impact.
Maybe the youth has a tough time reading. How can you help the family to encourage and engage that youth in their ability to read? Can you help them with books, or show them ways to improve their reading, or simply suggesting a reading time for the kids.
We forget that the parents and families of youth we work with are also going through things. When then families are healthy, the youth are healthy.