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You’re undoubtedly very busy and sometimes finding the time to take training is tough. But you’re committed to learning and want to do what’s best for young people. You need a quick go-to source to help you stay in the know.

You’ve found it! Quick Takes - a blog that speaks directly to you, a youth worker. Youth work insights and ideas you can grab and go in 3 minutes or so.

Quick Takes are written with a tone of respect, a sense of appreciation, and an understanding of the field of youth work. You’ll find the support and encouragement you need and deserve. You’ll appreciate how easy it is to scan through each Quick Take and absorb information you can use in your work.

Newest Quick Takes

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Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 through October 15 each year. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
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Mental Health Narrative Changing for the Better

Mental health challenges continue to increase. Young people and adults are faced with ongoing stress, fear, and trauma. So, it’s time to change the narrative about mental health and mental illness.
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The Passionate Youth Worker podcast provides you and your team the needed inspiration so you and your team are fully present in your service to young people.

The art and science of youth work certificate course.

The Art and Science of Youth Work certificate blends technical competency with personal growth strategies so you'll be your best for young people.

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You and your team have unlimited access to Live and On-Demand online training to improve a youth worker's knowledge, skills, and confidence.

More Quick Takes

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Engaging Young People is the Key to Trust

Not too long ago the field of youth work believed that engaging young people was unnecessary. In fact, not engaging young people was considered best practice. The opinions of young people were generally not accepted until they became adults.
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International Youth Day Empowers Young People

International Youth Day is celebrated each year on August 12. The purpose is to bring attention to youth issues. And to celebrate the potential of young people as partners in our global society.

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Shift Your Self-Care Plans Into Action

Self-care is essential in youth work to avoid burnout and manage secondary trauma. So, how are YOU doing? Whether self-care is already part of your daily routine or you just need a place to start, here are some action steps to take better care.
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Disability Pride Month is Something to Celebrate!

Disability Pride Month was first celebrated in July of 2015. It’s not a federally recognized holiday yet. So, you may not be as familiar with it as other culturally inclusive celebrations. But it really is something to celebrate!
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Youth Worker Advocacy During a Campaign Season

Youth worker advocacy during a campaign season is too often overlooked. But it is actually a great time to gain support for our young people. That’s because during a legislative session there are so many demands on legislators that they have too little time to learn from you.
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DEI Initiatives Advance Social Justice

DEI initiatives play a vital role in advancing social justice. When organizations and youth programs provide diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces, people thrive. And all of us can play a role in making DEI initiatives work for everyone.

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What it Takes to be a Passionate Youth Worker

A passionate youth worker is someone that has found their purpose in serving young people. Many found that calling through their own childhood experiences with a caring adult. Others kind of fell into it. And then couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
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Considerations for Mandated Reporting

Mandated reporting is something every youth worker needs to learn about. Your responsibility is not always clearly defined. So, it is especially important to understand the laws in your area. And to sharpen your critical thinking skills for a host of considerations.
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The Benefits of Youth Worker Training

The benefits of youth worker training are often lost when times get tough. Training is often the first thing to go when budget cuts are needed. This is true even in industries that have greater financial capital to work with than youth-serving programs.
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Social and Emotional Learning Through Games and Play

Social and emotional learning (SEL) helps young people of all ages better understand their emotions. Although SEL is common in the context of students and school, any type of youth programming can support SEL.

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Resilience: The Antidote to Stress

Resilience is often thought of as the ability to bounce back from difficulties. So, in that sense, it’s a kind of toughness. But that view is a bit one dimensional. Moreover, we’re learning that resilience is not a one-size-fits-all skill.
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ADHD Challenges, Strengths, and Strategies for Youth Workers

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can present challenges and strengths when you work with young people. As you look deeper at ADHD, you will notice opportunities to encourage young people to create positive outcomes. Let’s learn strategies you can add to your youth work toolbox.
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How to Advocate for Young People as a Youth Worker

When I first entered the youth worker field in the early 1990s, there were many more funding resources for youth-serving programs than there are today. So, it wasn’t critical for me to advocate for funding. I could just focus on working directly with young people.
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Helping Young People Navigate Cancel Culture

Cancel culture can be used for good, as a way to demand social change. It’s helped combat wrongdoing like racism, sexism, and LGBTQIA+ bias. But it can also be used to harm, as a way to bully. And that’s a real risk to young people’s well-being.
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Motivation to Move Toward Change

Motivation plays an important role in achieving any meaningful change. When a young person is struggling with change, you can be a great resource to help them find their motivation. Making it all about them is the key.
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De-escalation Strategies for Young People and Youth Workers

De-escalation can be challenging as you care for the young person, others, and yourself, all at the same time. And the intensity of the moment when a young person’s behavior is escalated may feel hard to handle. But knowing how to respond quickly with calming de-escalation skills is the key.
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Wisdom in Youth Work is Untapped Potential

Wisdom in youth work is not conveniently or routinely shared. The field of youth work lacks sufficient infrastructure to learn and grow from each other. This delays the collective wisdom of us all, and ultimately limits our success.
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Developing Brave Spaces for Dialogue in Youth Work

Dialogue is a powerful way to help young people develop their voice. Dialogue is an agreement to listen and acknowledge without judgment. It helps us consider different viewpoints and develop empathy and understanding.

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Belonging, Inclusion, and Mental Health

Belonging is an innate human need. Everybody wants to feel like they belong. And it turns out that belonging brings benefits for our well-being across the board. Without it, we can feel lost, alone, and struggle to find meaning in life.

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Positive Communication with Young People Matters

Positive communication with young people is a skill that everyone should master. It sets the stage for relationship building and developing trust. The key is to be congruent. Be positive in your outward presentation and feel positive inside too.
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10 Ways Providing Support to Young People Is a Gift

Providing support to young people is what youth workers do. And highly effective youth workers know that they receive so much in return. When we understand the positive impact it has on us personally, we realize that we’ve been handed a gift of our lifetime.
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Mindful Youth Work Benefits You and Young People

Mindfulness can be a great way to manage stress, anxiety, and distraction. These are challenges all young people and adults face from time to time. So, we could all use mindfulness as a healthy way to cope with and prevent stress.

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Kindness Matters for Positive Youth Development

Kindness is biologically hard-wired into us. Indeed, as children, we are kind more naturally. Sadly, as we become older we may practice kindness less often due to the stresses of daily life. But we now know that kindness is key for positive youth development.
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Relationships in Youth Work

Relationships are at the core of all youth work. Therefore, no matter how your program interacts with young people, it’s essential to use those interactions to help build relationships. While building relationships comes naturally for some people, others need to be intentional about it.
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Helping Young People Manage Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Anxiety isn’t new. And while the Covid global pandemic is not the first pandemic in history, we need to be mindful of the increased anxiety our young people are experiencing today. You have an important role in helping them navigate their experiences, draw on their strengths, and offer creative coping skills that will shape positive outcomes for them in the future.

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The Value of Bringing Improv to Youth Work

Improv is a fun and engaging way to build real trust in your relationships with young people. Additionally, improv is a great way to build your confidence for those times you need to think on your feet. And using improv in youth programming can inspire creativity and strengthen problem-solving.

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How to Address Secondary Trauma

Secondary trauma is a natural but disruptive result of working with people who have been traumatized. Therefore, your work with young people makes you vulnerable to this type of stress. So, you owe it to yourself to learn how to address it.
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Caregiver Engagement in Youth Work

Caregiver engagement positively impacts young people and the systems around them. Whether it’s parents or different caregivers, sometimes engagement can be tough. But you can do it! Here are some ideas to help you engage caregivers.
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How to Recognize Youth Mental Illness

Knowing how to recognize the red flags of youth mental illness may save a life. As a youth worker, you must be on alert for signs that something isn’t right. Often, the warning signs are in plain sight when you know what they are.
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Exercise Your Power of Choice!

Sometimes, the stress of daily life can make you forget that you have the power of choice. The COVID pandemic magnified that to a whole other level. So, this is the perfect time to remind yourself of the power of choice.

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Youth Mental Health: Reduce the Stigma

Youth mental health matters. Are you doing enough to notice and offer help? If not, I hope this quick take will stir you to learn more and take action. Because no matter how you work with young people, your support can save lives.
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Pride is a Banner for Belonging

Pride - LGBTQ Pride Month - is celebrated in June each year to commemorate the June 1969 Stonewall riots. That historic uprising is seen as the beginning of the movement to eliminate discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ Americans.
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Power Dynamics in Youth Work

Power dynamics in youth work are inherent. Understanding what they are and what you should do about them is important. Are you fully aware of how to manage your power in your day-to-day youth work?
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Poetry in Youth Work

Poetry is a lot like youth work. Just like youth work, it’s an art form that has the awesome power to change lives. It’s a language that builds connections and invites vulnerability. It’s a source of inspiration and hope. Youth work is a lot like poetry.
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Challenging Behaviors Should Not Define Youth

Challenging Behaviors are often the reason a young person is referred to a youth intervention program. Youth workers typically know more about a young person’s challenging behaviors than they do about the young person at first.
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Will a Grassroots Movement in Youth Work Change Everything?

Grassroots movements are responsible for a woman’s right to vote, civil liberties for people of color, and the right to marry the person you love for the LGBTQ+ community. Could a grassroots movement in youth work fundamentally change the lives of our young people in the same way?
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Self-Compassion is a Youth Work Superpower

Self-compassion is a basic yet profound principle of being kind to yourself. It’s not about pity or not taking responsibility. It’s a strategy of relating with yourself and the young people you serve in a kind and compassionate way.

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Validation: Suicide Prevention Through a Different Lens

Validation may be one of the most important skills to develop for all aspects of your work with young people. Validation is an especially powerful piece of the pre-prevention puzzle. Teenagers need to know that we hear them.
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Emotional Regulation: Suicide Prevention Through a Different Lens

Emotional regulation is the ability to manage and respond effectively to emotions, not let emotions and mood dictate behavior. This is a key component of suicide prevention. Emotional regulation is the focus of Part 2 of our three-part series. 
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Impulse Control: Suicide Prevention Through a Different Lens

Impulse control is especially difficult for young people but without this skill, teenagers are more susceptible to risky behavior, even suicide. Impulsivity is part of typical teen development. Giving them the tools for impulse control will help them effectively combat negative impulses, including suicidal ideation.
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Building Resilience in Youth

Building resilience in youth means you are helping young people get through tough obstacles in their life, sometimes even chronic situations. It does not mean it will be easy for young people or that there won’t be emotional scars as a result.
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Empathy and Social Activism in Youth Work

Empathy is a key component of all social activism. After all, you have to be able to relate in some manner to the cause or people you are championing. The passion and commitment that empathy provides can drive you to demand that things improve for our young people.
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Suicide Prevention Basics for Youth Workers

Suicide prevention is not a skill most people feel very competent in. But as a youth worker, you have an obligation to learn all you can about suicide prevention. Being able to recognize the early warning signs is a matter of life and death.
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Self-Awareness is Your Main Asset in Youth Work

Self-awareness as a youth worker is the best thing you can do to improve positive outcomes with young people. Simply put – you are your best tool in the tool box when it comes to your youth work.
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What Makes for Great Youth Workers

As a youth worker and now as executive director of YIPA, I have met many great youth workers. I have often wondered how these folks became great. Why are some people just so naturally good at helping our young people?
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Quality Youth Work Includes a Passion for Service

Quality youth work requires that we build and sustain a passion for serving young people. The need for technical training such as mental health basics, trauma informed care, and the like is well documented. But, we rarely talk about the importance of having passion for youth work.
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Beware of Your Ethical Dilemmas in Youth Work

Ethical dilemmas in youth work happen all the time and they often go unrecognized. These situations can be so subtle that you may react without consideration to the origins of your behaviors.
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Leveraging Conflict Resolution Skills in Youth Work

Conflict resolution skills are essential for every youth worker. Youth work is about human relationships and, being human, we are certain to find ourselves in conflict with the young people we sincerely want to support.
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Adolescence is the Gateway into Adulthood

Adolescence is a developmental stage everyone must navigate before entering adulthood. It can be an awkward and challenging time for some. Many of us may want to forget about the dumb things we did in that developmental phase, but we can’t. Our mistakes don’t make us bad people; rather they shape and influence who we choose to become.
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The Power of Youth Work Associations

Youth work associations are powerful and I’ve come to the understanding that who you associate with really does matter if you want to create change. Those you associate with will energize you and help you to see new possibilities.
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So Many Reasons Why Youth Workers Are Awesome

Youth workers are awesome! In an era when too many people are focused on themselves and their own well-being, we need to look to youth workers as a group of individuals worthy of emulation.