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


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.

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 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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More Quick Takes


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.