The resources in this section of the Supervisor's PYD Toolkit support the creation of positive program environments.
Community Programs to Promote Youth Development
In its 2002 review of rigorously evaluated, community-based youth programs, the National Research Council (NRC) provided an evidence base for effective youth development settings. National Academies Press.
Features of Positive Developmental Settings
This chart offers a descriptor of what each of the eight features of effective youth development settings is, and what it is not. In the companion document, resources are provided for each of the eight features. ACT for Youth.
Whole-Child Design: Supportive Environments
We know that for learning and development, context matters. Here, research-based resources are offered to help set the stage for developmentally supportive environments. Turnaround for Children.
Safe and Inclusive EnvironmentsIn recent years we have learned that young people experience trauma and toxic stress much more commonly than previously thought. Certain groups are especially affected by trauma and stress, such as young people living in economically disadvantaged families and communities, system-involved youth, and those who face stigma and injustice based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, mental health, and ability .
Youth benefit when program staff approach their work with an understanding of trauma and chronic stress. Use the resources below to build awareness and equip youth work professionals with strategies for creating safe and inclusive environments for young people.
Trauma and Stress
Offer professional development resources to staff to learn about trauma, toxic stress, and trauma-informed approaches to programming.
Stress and the Brain
This guide for educators promotes a deep understanding of how adversity and stress impact the developing brain. Turnaround for Children.
Trauma-Informed SEL Toolkit
This toolkit for educators offers research, resources, and strategies to promote social and emotional learning. Transforming Education.
You can better understand program participants right from the start if you incorporate questions to assess stressors, strengths, and coping skills in program registration forms. ACT for Youth.
Equity and Inclusion
Commit to anti-bias education and inclusive organizational policies and practices.
Implicit Association Tests (IAT) are brief, eye-opening exercises that shed light on personal biases that are outside of our conscious awareness and control. Ask staff to do IATs about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics -- and be sure to do them yourself as well. Project Implicit.
Outsmarting Human Minds
Outsmarting Human Minds is an interactive media series that explores the quirks and blind spots of the mind using insights from psychological science. Harvard University.
Creating an Anti-Bias Learning Environment
This article and checklist offer ideas for working with students to create respectful, inclusive learning environments. ADL.
Understanding and Confronting Racial Injustice
This collection of resources was compiled to help youth work professionals confront racial injustice by 1) starting with ourselves, 2) engaging with others, 3) addressing systemic change, and 4) contributing to community healing. University of Minnesota Extension.
Creating Inclusive Program Environments for Youth with Different Abilities
This curriculum aims to provide youth work professionals with information, practices, and activities that will help them promote inclusion and engagement for all young people. ACT for Youth.
Inclusiveness: Building Stronger Connections
Resources gathered here will help youth work professionals understand and address bias and create more inclusive environments. ACT for Youth.
Whole Child Design: Expectations, Norms, and Routines
These tools for educators can help create the foundation for an inclusive, predictable, and consistent environment. While they are designed for schools, many of the resources are applicable to out-of-school-time settings. Resources include a Core Practice Continuum that may be helpful to supervisors and educators. Turnaround for Children.
Young People Matter and are Valued
As a supervisor of youth work professionals, you advocate for young people to be valued in the organization. Adults tend to disregard or dismiss (at times unconsciously) young people's contributions due to their age and lack of experience or training. This behavior, which is based on negative assumptions adults make about young people, is called adultism. It's important for supervisors to address adultism issues, promote positive relationships and youth-adult partnerships, and establish opportunities for meaningful youth involvement. Organizational support includes allocating staff time and resources to prepare young people for meaningful engagement, including young people serving on your board of directors.
What is Adultism?
Adultism is the assumption that young people are inferior to adults simply because of their youth. Here you can explore what adultism looks like and ways young people and adults can tackle adultism. Youth on Board.
Framework for Understanding Adultism
We see adultism at work in a variety of ways that are described here; examples are also provided. ACT for Youth.
Youth and Adult Leaders for Program Excellence (YALPE)
YALPE is a comprehensive toolkit for organizations that are ready to assess the quality of their youth development programming and the participation of youth in organizational governance and planning. The YALPE toolkit provides assessment instruments and practical guidance for collecting and analyzing data. University of Wisconsin-Extension and ACT for Youth.
Youth-Adult Partnership Rubric
This assessment tool can be used for professional development and youth-adult partnership program evaluation in a variety of settings. Michigan State University.
Youth- and Family-Friendly EnvironmentBy collaborating with administrators and young people, supervisors can create a physical environment that is welcoming to youth and families. Consider inviting young people and staff to assess the physical environment and climate.
PYD Environmental Scan
This tool can be used to do an informal assessment of the physical environment and climate of the agency. It is based on many PYD trainings and discussions with youth work professionals. ACT for Youth.
Access to Programming
Recognizing that many young people experience inequities and may not be able to access youth programs, you can be proactive by endorsing the following strategies:
- Assess and modify program's fee schedule
- Collaborate with other community agencies to expand youth programming to other locations (if young people cannot access current location)
- Participate and advocate in community coalitions to address inequities
- Enable staff to participate as well, for example, by joining a community board on work time
Youth programs do not operate in a vacuum. Young people attending youth programs are also connected to families, schools, and other community organizations. As a supervisor, you are well positioned to promote collaboration and connection.
- Promote family involvement: Invite families to attend programming, open houses, and events
- Encourage staff to familiarize themselves with other community organizations that work with youth (including time to visit other agencies)
- Establish referral processes with other agencies; make referrals regularly when young people express needs for services
- Promote staff voice as well as youth voice
|||National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. nap.edu/catalog/25388/the-promise-of-adolescence-realizing-opportunity-for-all-youth|