Who are you calling a YOUTH WORKER?!

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Who are you calling a
YOUTH WORKER?!
Our shared role in the positive
development of young people
John Brandon, MCCOY Inc.
Youth Work is for Everyone!
Young people move in multiple circles, each
of which has an opportunity to impact a
young person significantly
• A child’s life is like a piece of paper on
which every person leaves a mark—
Chinese Proverb
DEFINITION
• A youth worker is an individual who works
with and on behalf of children and youth to
facilitate their personal, social, and
educational development…..
Definition continues…
• …and enable them to gain a voice,
influence, and place in society as they
make the transition from dependence to
independence.
(from the next generation Youth Work
Coalition)
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT is..
• Conceptual Definition
A process by which all
young people seek ways
to meet their basic
physical and social needs
and to build
competencies
(knowledge and skills)
necessary to succeed in
adolescence and
adulthood.
• Practical Definition
An approach to working
with young people that
defines goals (outcomes)
based on capacities,
strengths, and
developmental needs of
youth
Young people are deemed
COMPETENT and HEALTHY
when they:
1) develop a positive sense of
self and a sense of connection
and commitment to others; and
develop abilities and motivation to succeed in
school and participate fully in family and
community life.
• To successfully achieve these developmental
outcomes, ALL young people require:
• SUPPORTS
• OPPORTUNITIES
• SERVICES
A VISION
Every young person in our community,
from the time they are born until they
reach young adulthood, will have access
to quality opportunities in every setting in
which they interact, to gain the skills and
knowledge necessary to thrive, learn,
engage, work and lead.
Organizing YD Work
• Search Institute’s 40 Developmental
Assets
• Communities That Care
• Ready by 21 Quality Counts
Because Rhetoric and Reality
Don’t Match
The American Dream
All youth ready, every family
and community supportive,
each leader effective.
The American Reality
Only 4 in 10 youth ready, only 1 in 3 youth
supported, too few leaders effective.
The American Dilemma
Fragmentation, complacency, and low expectations of
youth, communities and leaders
The Ready by 21™ Challenge
Change the odds for youth by changing the way we do business
There is Increasing Agreement on Skills Needed for the 21st Century
Ready for
Work
Youth Employment
Outcomes Specific
Vocational
Knowledge
& Skills
21st Century
Skills & Content
Information & Media Literacy
Communication
Critical & Systems Thinking
Problem Solving
Creativity, Intellectual Curiosity
Interpersonal Skills
Self-Direction
Accountability and Adaptability
Social Responsibility
Financial Literacy
Global Awareness
Civic Literacy
Cultural, Physical & Behavioral
Health Knowledge & Skills
Ready for Life
Youth Development Outcomes
Ready
for
College
Subject Academic
Matter
Outcomes
Knowledge
Community
partners are
calling for and
contributing to
the development
of broader skills
and knowledge.
These Supports Make a Difference
Reach Counts
Many individuals, organizations and systems
Families operate in parallel to fill the white space.
Peer Groups
Schools and Training Organizations
Higher Education
Youth-serving Organizations
CBOs (Non-profit service providers)
Workforce Development Organizations
Businesses (jobs, internships,
apprenticeships)
Faith-based Organizations
Libraries
Parks & Recreation Departments
Community-based Health Services
Social Service Agencies
Law Enforcement/Juvenile Justice
The Result:
We add on without ever adding up so
we never know the real reach of our
combined efforts.
Some Solutions:
•Put someone in charge
•Map the program landscape
•Define what the landscape should
look like
•Align resources & policies
•Hold decision-makers accountable
for overall results
Assertion
Quality Counts
Counts
Assertion#1:
1. Quality
QUALITY IS KEY
It Matters
Research shows that improved youth outcomes
requires program attendance and program quality.
It is Measureable
The core elements of program quality are both measurable
and consistent across a broad range of program types.
It is Malleable
Most programs can improve quality by undertaking
integrated assessment and improvement efforts.
It is Marketable
Decision-makers and providers will invest in improving
quality if they believe that it matters, is measurable and is
malleable given available resources.
Ready by 21™ Quality Counts Initiative
Variety of tools to assess quality
• Youth Program Quality AssessmentYPQA—Center for Youth Program Quality
• Assessing Afterschool Program Practices
Tool—NIOST/Mass. Dept. of Education
• Program Observation Tool—National
Afterschool Association
The Ready by 21™ Challenge
At its heart,
• Youth development is RELATIONAL
• Youth work is YOUTH CENTERED
• Youth work is greater than the sum of all
the parts
• Youth work is community based work
• Youth work is DEVELOPMENTAL rather
than PREVENTIVE.
Getting to Work
• Invite yourself to dinner
• Invite others to your table when forming
workgroups around health issues
• Engage young people and give them
significant and meaningful roles
• Advocate—loudly
• Don’t sit back—step up
• Don’t forget the family!!!
Helpful websites
• www.nydic.org National Youth
Development Information Center
• www.search-institute.org Search Institute
• www.forumfyi.org Forum for Youth
Investment
• www.americaspromise.org America’s
Promise Alliance
• www.naa.org National Afterschool Alliance
Helpful Websites
• www.nn4youth.org National Network for
Youth
• www.findyouthinfo.gov Federal programs
pertaining to youth
• www.chapinhall.org Chapin Hall Center
for Adolescence U. of Chicago
• www.mccoyouth.org Marion County
Commission on Youth--Indianapolis
Contact information
John Brandon
[email protected]
317-921-1288
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