DEVELOPING YOUTH WORK:An estimated 3 million adults are professional child and youth care workers, supporting vulnerable children, teens and young adults on the sometimes perilous journey to adulthood. Given the importance of youth workers to the positive development of young people at risk, it is critical that policymakers and the child welfare field itself look hard at the qualifications and professional trajectory of these workers: who they are, how they are trained, and how they are compensated. Youth Work Practice: A Status Report on Professionalization and Expert Opinion about the Future of the Field, from ProYouthWork America, offers a point-in-time look at how one segment of this fast-maturing field — those specializing in teens and young adults — is tackling the challenges of professionalization.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHERE DO YOUNG PEOPLE LEARN
OUT OF SCHOOL? WE MAPPED THE PLACES
Rethinking the notion of where young people actually learn is one of the tenets of educational reform. About six months ago, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation commissioned NEN to develop learning resource maps of 14 communities in New England, the aim being to help guide schools toward potential educational collaborators. Those collaborators might be formal or informal, a nonprofit organization, a business, a club, or an individual. The 'education' could take any form: mentoring, tutoring, job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships — any opportunity to learn that lets young people follow their own interests and gets them out into the community.
1,158 IDEAS FOR MAKING VERMONTThis new brief summarizes the findings of two simultaneous needs assessment projects NEN conducted in one of the most rural places in the United States: the far northeast corner of Vermont. The projects relied heavily on youth surveys and companion photo projects to get to the heart of young people's everyday experiences, hopes and fears. What did they say they want? More interesting things to do; better internship and job options; adult action on alcohol, drugs and bullying; and improvements in the physical infrastructure of towns.
A BETTER PLACE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE