• Margie Booyens Social Development, University of Cape Town.
  • Elsa Crause Sociology, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa Campus, South Africa.


“At risk” is a concept that reflects probability or likelihood, not certainty. Youth living in resource-poor rural areas and not in education, employment or training (NEET) have fewer opportunities to make the transition to the role requirements of adulthood – specifically to productive work. Risk factors such as exclusion from more than one key societal system, such as education and the economy, increase the chance of youth not being able to make a successful transition into adulthood. We argue that at risk youth and their environments should be specifically targeted for interventions by social service providers. The promotion of their inclusion in all spheres of community life – from work to active citizenship, building on the strengths and assets of young people, their families and the community – raises the chances of positive outcomes (Moore, 2006).


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