Posted on August 15, 2022



Access to adults who listen, offer support and understanding, and answer questions without judgment increases young people’s resilience. It is with this goal that Project PEACE of Arlington is launching the Askable Adult initiative to ensure that every young person in Arlington County has at least one parent, caregiver, or other supportive adult – an “askable adult.” – in his life.

Project PEACE, Arlington’s coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence, and its partners believe that everyone has a role to play in supporting the health and well-being of children and youth in our community. The most common factor in young people developing resilience to stress and adversity is having at least one stable, committed relationship with a parent, caregiver, or other supportive adult.

The United States Surgeon General recently announced that youth mental health is a national public health crisis. Mental health issues increase in times of stress, and stressors have skyrocketed with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the same prevention strategies that promote mental health, like helping young people feel connected,help prevent a range of negative experiences, such as child abuse, bullying, suicide and violence. Ultimately, youth challenges cannot be addressed in isolation alone, but rather through the shared efforts of young people, their families, local communities, private organizations and all levels of government.

An interviewable adult is someone a young person has identified as willing and able to listen, provide support and understanding, and answer questions without judgment. Demanding adults encourage the positive development of young people so that they are empowered to reach their full potential.

The latest data from Arlington Public Schools Spring 2020 6e-12e Student survey reveals that only 42% of Arlington middle and high school students talk with an adult at home about what matters most or almost always to them. The Askable Adult initiative aims to help adults in Arlington play this role.

The Arlington Askable Adult initiative includes the following:

  • In progress Become more accessible workshops starting this fall to support hands-on learning for individuals, groups and organizations.
  • An Askable Adult mobile brochure, published by Project PEACE and its partners Second Chance and the Arlington Foundation for Families and Youth, offers strategies for building skills to be askable and provides local resources to make the journey easier. The brochure is available in four languages ​​(English, Spanish, Mongolian and Amharic) and can be distributed free of charge to any community.
  • A website with regularly updated information, resources to improve skills and build support, and ways to get involved with the Askable Adult initiative.

The Arlington County Askable Adult initiative will be launched to the public at the 2022 Arlington County Fair over the weekend of August 19-21.

About the PEACE project:
Arlington County’s PEACE (Partnering to End Abuse in the Community for Everyone) Project is a coordinated response dedicated to promoting the most effective and efficient range of education, prevention, protection and support to end domestic and sexual violence in the Arlington community.