The Academy has joined with the Bolster Collaborative, Phillips Programs, and Youth Catalytics to form a national collaboration to help the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) implement its Youth ThriveTM Framework across the US. The newly formed group, called the Youth Thrive Training Collaborative (YTTC), is pooling its expertise and community development resources to expand the training and technical assistance available to practitioners and organizations using the Youth Thrive Framework. This framework is a model for expanding the use of trauma-informed, brain development based approaches in programs and communities. The Youth Thrive Framework provides a research-based lens for understanding why many practitioners and programs are not able to engage and support young people into successful adulthood. It is being used by service providers, policy planners, state welfare departments, juvenile justice programs, and others to assess their programs and plan for services that increase youth engagement and successful outcomes.
CSSP approached the Academy in 2013 to work with the National Resource Center for Youth Services to create the training for trainers curriculum for the Youth Thrive Framework. Although the Youth Thrive Framework focuses on the child welfare system and youth in the foster care system, it was obvious to Academy planners that the information in the framework could benefit programs across the field of youth services. This included out-of-school time, disabilities, education, recreation, juvenile justice, health care, and other practice settings.
The Academy joined with its other YTTC partners so that expertise could be brought together to better resource the wide range of youth serving programs in the US. Bolster Collaborative is composed of many trainers who previously worked with the SEARCH Institute to implement the 40 Developmental Assets in educational and community settings. Phillips Programs specializes in educationally-based interventions for special needs early childhood and school-age children. Youth Catalytics is well respected for its national efforts to provide training and technical assistance to a wide variety of programs including residential, health care, wrap-around, and community-based. Combining these strengths with the Academy’s expertise in curriculum development and training of child and youth care workers in a variety of settings including residential, juvenile justice, after-school, and community services creates a rich resource. Working in collaboration, these organizations can adapt the Youth Thrive training materials to better fit each of the major practice setting in the field.
YTTC is currently working with three of the national CSSP Learning Community sites to provide training for trainers and technical assistance. These include the Nebraska Children and Family Foundation, Vermont Department of Children and Families, and the City of New York Probation Department. Work is underway to create a combined Youth Thrive/Strengthening Families curriculum that will offer a framework for promoting protective and promotive factors beginning in early childhood and extending through young adulthood. Youth Catalytics, working with Health Care Education and Training has created an adapted version of the Youth Thrive Training with an added sexual health component.