- Child Welfare Leadership
Targeted Age Group(s)
- 18 or older
QIC-EY Engagement Model Components (i) The engagement model components were identified through the QIC-EY Environmental Scan as critical to the support of youth engagement in the attainment of permanence.
- Engage Specialized Staff
- Support Youth Empowerment
Youth Thrive is both a research-informed framework for youth well-being and an action-oriented initiative that is designed to support healthy development and to promote well-being for youth with partners across the country. The overarching goal of the Youth Thrive framework is to achieve positive outcomes by mitigating risk and enhancing healthy development and well-being of youth (ages 11-26). Developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), Youth Thrive is based on the belief that all young people should be valued, loved and supported to reach their goals. To achieve this, Youth Thrive works with youth-serving systems and its partners to change policies, programs and practices so that they build on what is known about adolescent development.
Since 2014, Youth Thrive has focused on strategies to improve systems that serve those youth who are most marginalized in society, specifically focusing on child welfare and juvenile justice systems and the service system that supports youth who are at risk of homelessness. Youth Thrive uses the latest science to identify protective and promotive factors that increase the likelihood that adolescents can develop into healthy, thriving adults.
CSSP is currently providing technical assistance to six sites that are integrating the Youth Thrive framework into their agency and organization’s policies, programming, practice, contracts and training of staff.
To advance its goals, a training-of-trainers (TOT) curriculum, developed by the University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services (NRCYS) and Youth In Focus (YIF), is available. A coaching model also is available to support implementation of the model. Trainers who enroll in the Youth Thrive TOT receive the following:
- Trainer’s Guide – Detailed, step-by-step curriculum guide for each of the seven modules that includes learning goals, information about content, sequencing, timing, activities, materials needed and general facilitation instructions (183 pages)
- Participant Manual – Description of key concepts, activity worksheets and resources for participants in future trainings (79 pages)
- PowerPoint slides for each module (more than 200 slides)
- Bibliography and Resource list – A wealth of additional information for those who want to explore Youth Thrive concepts and research in greater depth
- Feedback from Youth Thrive trainers – Opportunity to present parts of the curriculum and to receive feedback from experienced Youth Thrive trainers during the TOT, membership in a community of practice to access additional feedback, virtual coaching and resources via phone contact and/or webinars to share ideas and information and to troubleshoot problems with other Youth Thrive trainers
The training of trainers is designed for experienced trainers. Therefore, participation by individuals who meet the following criteria is recommended:
- Major responsibility for leading and delivering training as part of their work assignment for at least two years
- Proficiency in more than one training curriculum or major content area
- Values and perspective that are compatible with the Youth Thrive framework
Because the Youth Thrive training curriculum contains a lot of demanding content, it is seen as a resource for experienced trainers who have the skills, competencies, commitment and opportunity to provide the training themselves to a significant number of workers/staff. This is not the right opportunity for novice trainers or individuals who are interested in an initial orientation to the Youth Thrive framework.
Participation of young adults in the Youth Thrive TOT is encouraged, especially by those who have had experience in the child welfare or other service systems. Youth voices and perspectives are enormously beneficial to all aspects of Youth Thrive work. Ideally, youth who participate should have engaged in other training already and in leadership development or advocacy activities (e.g., youth advisory boards, student government, community service) and should be able to partner with a staff trainer to conduct training sessions. Depending on the specific situation, it also may be appropriate for youth, especially young leaders and advocates, to participate in the Youth Thrive direct-service training.
Trainers who participate in the Youth Thrive Training of Trainers must agree to the following:
- Provide Youth Thrive training by conducting at least two direct-service trainings and reaching approximately 50 individuals who have direct contact with youth over the next two years.
- Submit basic information and periodic updates to a database on Youth Thrive training activities that will be maintained and updated by NRCYS.
- Participate in occasional conference calls or webinars to share information, strategies and plans and to receive virtual coaching for future training with other trainers.
The Training of Trainers (TOT) is an intensive training that typically takes 3-4 consecutive, full days. The TOT includes a full presentation of the Youth Thrive framework and guiding premises taught by experienced trainers.