ACT for Youth is committed to promoting the language of positive youth development (PYD) and integrating core PYD principles into the field of youth work. We aim to enhance the capacity, knowledge, and competencies of adults who work with and for young people, as well as their organizations.
Positive Youth Development 101 Training
The 10-hour training curriculum Positive Youth Development 101
offers an orientation to positive youth development for new youth work professionals. The curriculum includes five sections:
- Theoretical Foundation of PYD and Adolescent Development
- Positive Youth Development Outcomes
- Youth Voice and Engagement
- Youth Development Programming
- Youth Worker Competencies
PYD 101 Online Courses
Positive Youth Development (PYD) 101 Online
is a series of short, interactive courses intended to introduce PYD to new youth work professionals, volunteers, and advocates. The series can be used independently or to supplement the training curriculum listed above.
PYD Network Webinars
ACT for Youth sponsors occasional webinars for people interested in positive youth development. To be notified of upcoming webinars, contact Jutta Dotterweich
. For more presentations and articles, see our PYD publications
How is COVID-19 Impacting the Emotional Well-Being of Adolescents?
PYD Web Series 1: Foundations
PYD Web Series 2: Positive Youth Outcomes
PYD Web Series 3: Youth Voice and Engagement
PYD Web Series 4: Youth Development Programming
PYD Web Series 5: Youth Work Ethics
Engaging Youth, Not Managing Youth!
Behavior Management Techniques
Building Developmental Relationships
Search Institute: Developmental Relationships Framework
Search Institute: Relationships First
Search Institute: The 4 S's Interview
Building Organizational Support for PYD
Motivation and Goals
YouTube: What is Self Determination Theory?
SEL Toolkit: Self-Management
Character Lab: WOOP
Responding to Hate Language
Warm-Up: Human Scavenger Hunt
Diversity Iceberg Activity
What Do Youth Workers Have to Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Fair Weather Ahead: Coping with Adolescent Stress
Core Competencies in Youth Work
What does it take to be a good youth worker? On this page, we introduce core competency areas and discuss building expertise through "deliberate practice."
The facilitation and implementation of program activities is essential to the work of youth professionals. Facilitation Tips
offers general presentation techniques and tips as well as warm-up activities and energizers.
Common teaching techniques
such as brainstorming, small group activities, and role plays are discussed using behavioral checklists and video examples of good and weak facilitation.
On this page, we discuss the internal barriers youth work professionals may face when they seek to reach youth, and ways to become more inclusive
and culturally competent.
Self-Care for Youth Work Professionals
Professionals in the field of youth development are often deeply dedicated and personally invested in their work. It is this commitment to others that makes self-care essential for staff. The Self-Care
page suggests strategies and links to resources.
Social and Emotional Learning Toolkit
The Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) approach incorporates many principles of youth development
. Originally developed for school settings, SEL focuses on the facilitation and implementation of learning activities and programming, which can be easily transferred into other settings. The SEL Toolkit
provides a range of resources, strategies, and tools.