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Design, manage & evaluate youth programs


Your youth program is not just about the youth you support; it's a an organization with adult staff, leaders and volunteers. Learn ways to manage your program efficiently, develop your staff, provide training for volunteers and sustain it through funding.

Reports & articles

Reflective Practice Meets Youth Work Supervision (PDF)
Produced by Extension: Margo Herman
Youth and Policy
This article identifies the concepts of reflective practice, critical inquiry and action research, then proposes a framework for reflective supervisory practice in a youth work context, and analyzes the benefits of this approach. 2012

Youth worker reasoning about dilemmas encountered in practice: Expert-novice differences (PDF)
Produced by Extension: Reed Larson and Kathrin Walker
Journal of Youth Development
This study examines the ability to appraise and respond to the dilemmas of practice encountered in youth programs. Although preliminary, the findings have implications for how youth workers are trained. 2012

Dilemmas of Practice: Challenges to Program Quality Encountered by Youth Program Leaders
Produced by Extension: Reed Larson and Kathrin Walker
To create and sustain high quality youth development programs it is important to understand the challenging situations and dilemmas that emerge in program leaders’ daily work with youth. In this research the experiences of leaders in 12 programs were followed over a 2–9 month period, which led to the identification of 250 dilemma situations. 2010

Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning (PDF)
Kyla Wahlstrom, Karen Seashore Louis, Kenneth Leithwood, Stephen E. Anderson
The framework for this study represents the assumptions about aspects of the larger school system, including leadership at several levels, which interact to influence student learning. 2010

Shining a Light on Supervision: Lessons from the Beacons (PDF)
The Forum for Youth Investment
This commentary takes readers inside the world of the Beacons, to understand their approach to supervision. 2010

Unpacking Youth Work Practice (PDF)
The Forum for Youth Investment
A growing body of research underscores the importance of caring relationships and is helping to unpack the specific social processes that unfold between young people and youth workers inside of programs. 2008

Related organizations

Ready by 21 initiative
Ready by 21 provides leaders with proven tools and resources based on the knowledge and experience of top thinkers from across the country. Take advantage of blueprints, surveys, how-to guides, Webinars, in-depth coaching and technical assistance to ensure the success of your initiative.

A database of research-based youth development materials, particularly for at-risk audiences. Includes curricula, new and seminal research, technology and program evaluation resources.

Harvard Family Research Project
Research on more effective youth development practices, programs, and policies.

Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
A collaborative effort of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, and the Minneapolis Public Schools that champions the well-being and healthy development of Minneapolis children and young people.

Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) Grant Deadlines
This page lists upcoming grant application deadlines for Minnesota grantmakers as reported to MCF.

Search Institute
Research-based solutions to challenges facing young people.

Sprockets is a network of many different after-school and summer programs in Saint Paul.

Founded by the McKnight Foundation, in partnership with other funders, with youth, and with key stakeholders, the mission of Youthprise is to champion learning beyond the classroom so that all Minnesota youth thrive.

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