The Youth Development Workforce: The People, the Profession, and the Possibilities

Lynne M. Borden, Michael Conn, Casey D. Mull, Michele Wilkens

Abstract


Understanding the role of youth workers and promoting an accurate representation of these professionals and their work requires a focus on current research, practice, and policies that capture the challenges and opportunities of the youth development workforce. An overview of this special issue of the Journal of Youth Development examines efforts to support individual youth workers, strategies organizations use to prepare and assist youth workers, and system approaches to building the capacity of the workforce in key areas such as quality and social emotional learning, and concludes with an encapsulation of interviews with 10 key leaders nationwide. They identified the overarching task as one of identification of the elements that can make the field cohesive across the different settings and programs, while supporting youth in their growth through experiences that are rooted in the science of learning and development. Finally, this special issue offers the opportunity to better understand the youth workers, examine different types of professional development pathways, explore the role that systems can play in support of these workers, and reflect on the challenges and opportunities raised by key leaders in the profession.


Keywords


youth worker; youth professional; workforce; youth development; youth programs

Full Text:

PDF

References


Borden, L., Ballard, J., Michl-Petzing, L., Conn, M., Mull, C. D., & Wilkens, M. (2020). Foundations for the future: Building an integrated, cohesive field of youth development. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 266-286. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.937

Cooper, T. (2018). Defining youth work: Exploring the boundaries, continuity and diversity of youth work practice. In P. Allred, F. Cullen, K. Edwards, & D. Fusco (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of youth work practice (pp. 3-17). London, UK: Sage.

Deutsch, N. L. (2017). Executive summary. In N. L. Deutsch (Ed.), After-school programs to promote positive youth development: Integrating research into practice and policy (pp. ix-x). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59132-2

Dodge, E. (2020). Building collective capacity for program quality improvement: Boston Beyond’s certified observer network. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 220-238. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.818

Eccles, J. S., & Gootman, J. A. (2002). Community programs to promote Youth Development. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Garst, B. A., Weston, K. L., Bowers, E. P., & Quinn, W. H. (2019). Fostering youth leader credibility: Professional, organizational, and community impacts associated with completion of an online master’s degree in youth development leadership. Children and Youth Services Review, 96, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.019

Hall, G. (2020). Sustaining passion: Findings from an exploratory study of the OST program workforce. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 9-23. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.821

Hurd, N., & Deutsch, N. (Spring, 2017). SEL-focused after-school programs. The Future of the Children, 27(1), 95-115.

Lynch, M. L., Hartman, C. L., Trauntvein, N. E., & Moorhead, C. A. E. (2020). Camp organizational support for creativity among new and returning camp counselors. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 24-46. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.795

Moroney, D. A., & Young, J. (2020). Betting on the workforce: An interview with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 204-219. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.815

Newman, J. Z. (2020). Supporting the out-of-school time workforce in fostering intentional social and emotional learning. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 239-265. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.807

Pozzoboni, K. M., & Kirshner, B. (2016). The changing landscape of youth work: Theory and practice for an evolving field. In K. M. Pozzoboni & B. Kirshner (Eds.), The changing landscape of youth work: Theory and practice for an evolving field (pp. 1-10). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Quinn, W. H., Garst, B. A., Bowers, E. P., & Weston, K. L. (2020). Advancing academic pathways for building capacity in the youth development profession. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 150-164. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.814

Richmond, D., Sibthorp, J., & Bialeschki, M. D. (2020). Motivations and barriers for seasonal camp employment. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 180-203. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.822

Robideau, K., & Santl, K. (2020). Youth work matters: Online professional development for youth workers. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 70-78. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.820

Shanahan, A., & Sheehan, T. (2020). Creating community through cohort learning: A training model for youth development professionals. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 79-93. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.827

Silliman, B., Edwards, H. C., & Johnson, J. C. (2020). Preparing capable youth workers: The project youth Extension Service approach. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 122-149. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.824

Vance, F., & Goldberg, R. (2020). Creating a rising tide: Improving social and emotional learning across California. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 165-179. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.819

Vandell, D. L., & Lao, J. (2016). Building and retaining high quality professional staff for extended education programs. International Journal for Research on Extended Education, 4(1), 52-64. https://doi.org/10.3224/ijree.v4i1.24775

White, A. M., DeMand, A., McGovern, G., & Akiva, T. (2020). Understanding youth worker job stress. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 47-69. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.817

Wilkens, M. (2020). Employee churn in after-school care: Manager influences on retention and turnover. Journal of Youth Development, 15(1), 94-121. https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.812




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.930

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Lynne M Borden, Michael Conn, Casey D. Mull, Michele Wilkens

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.