Practice What We Preach: Supervisory Practice for Youth Worker Professional Development


  • Angel Peluso Making Moments Meaningful, Inc.



As a practitioner-researcher in the NorthStar Youth Worker Fellowship and a youth program supervisor, I have seen that adults who work directly with youth need to be partners in their own development just as they partner with young people to encourage their development. A workplace that partners in developing its youth workers actively encourages three things: authentic relationships, emotional safety, and reflective learning. In this article I share how I began exploring this topic and its implications for organizations. Bringing authentic relationships, safety, and reflective learning into the workplace provides a model of effective professional development of front-line youth workers. 

Author Biography

Angel Peluso, Making Moments Meaningful, Inc.

Angel Peluso currently works as a trauma-informed youth counselor at Northwood Children’s Services, a youth mental health continuum service provider in Duluth, MN. She lives on a lake in the woods and enjoys a vegan lifestyle complete with a crazy rescue cat named Pink Floyd and a sweet bulldog named Porkchop. Angel has been working in out-of-school-time programs since 2004. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of St Catherine in St Paul, MN and has received three practitioner research fellowships from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and the National Institute on Out of School Time exploring the topic of youth worker professional development and supervision. Special thanks to Jan Gallagher for her expert edits to this piece. Angel would like to thank Ellen Gannett of NIOST, Barb MacEachearn of the Agenda for Children OST Coalition, Julie Graves of Pillsbury United Communities, and Jennifer Blevins of the University of MN School of Social Work for believing in her potential and role modeling the supportive leadership that engages youth workers in their own development as professionals in this career.




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