The Art and Science of youth work logo

We offer a certificate course called The Art and Science of Youth Work. The course blends the science of fundamental competencies and technical skills with the art of developing who you are and how you let that show up in your work. Great youth work balances both seamlessly. And the young people you support have better outcomes when you bring your whole self to the work.

This course covers all eight focus areas of our competency framework.

What You'll Learn


Focus Area 1: The Field of Youth Work

  • Gain a broader perspective about the field of youth work and the value of a caring adult in the life of a young person
  • Explore the broader context of your role as a youth worker
  • Create a personalized self-care plan
  • Learn the importance of continuing your professional development

Focus Area 2: Youth Development

  • Learn the different development stages, channels, tasks, and milestones for middle childhood youth, pre-teens, and adolescents
  • Gain strategies for helping young people navigate developmental changes
  • Explore resources for positive youth development

Focus Area 3: Communications

  • Review the fundamental elements of effective communication
  • Learn how to use various communication strategies and techniques for certain situations
  • Improve your conflict resolution skills
  • Learn the Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) approach
  • Gain group facilitation strategies and skills

Focus Area 4: Ethics

  • Learn the value of an ethical code of conduct
  • Know the ethical responsibilities and professional principles of youth work
  • Uphold healthy boundaries in your professional relationship with young people
  • Apply ethical principles to the challenges faced in ethical dilemmas
Focus Area 5: Intercultural Engagement
  • See intercultural engagement as a life-long process of intentional discovery and conscious practice
  • Learn to recognize and address bias and prejudice, whether implicit or explicit
  • Recognize how your cultural makeup influences your attitudes and beliefs about race, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Gain confidence in talking about cultural differences

Focus Area 6: Behavioral Intervention

  • Explore the connection between emotions and behaviors
  • Learn how to identify the five zones of regulation
  • Acquire intervention strategies to help youth avoid becoming dysregulated
  • Learn how to help a dysregulated youth re-regulate their behavior
  • Consider how your self-regulation plays a role in helping young people

Focus Area 7: At-Risk Behaviors

  • Understand what drives risk-taking behavior
  • Recognize the warning signs of unhealthy risk-taking behaviors
  • Learn effective communication strategies for talking with young people about unhealthy risk-taking behaviors
  • Know your role as a youth worker and the importance of consulting with your supervisor

Focus Area 8: Mental Health Basics

  • Know your role and responsibility as a youth worker
  • Recognize mental health issues prevalent among youth today
  • Learn responsive actions you can take as a youth worker
  • Know the community and professional resources available to youth
  • Create good self-care strategies

How You'll Learn

  • The certificate course is completely self-paced – you take it at your convenience, on any computer, tablet, or smartphone, from anywhere you have WiFi access.
  • Complete each module in order. At the end of each module, you’ll find a link to complete the quiz for that module. You’ll need to achieve a score of 80% or better to pass each quiz.
  • There is a final quiz to complete as well. With a passing score of 80% or better, you’ll then receive your Certificate of Completion.
  • This course will count as 15 CE hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submission requirements.

You can check out a free sample focus area module. No credit card or payment required. Have a look for yourself and see how this course can benefit you.

Preview a Module

Have a question? Please call Barbara at 651.688.3866. Or, you can send us an email using the Ask a Question form and we’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

Ask a Question
YIPA members receive a 50% discount – your price is $99 for each certificate. The non-member price is $195 per certificate. Click Buy Now below and get started.
Buy Now

YIPA members receive a 50% discount and access to all of our online trainings plus a whole lot more. YIPA membership is amazingly affordable. Join us!

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Earn Your Certificate in Youth Work Online

At YIPA, we think earning your certificate in youth work should fit your schedule, not ours. That’s why we created The Art and Science of Youth Work certificate course for online self-study. Go at your own pace from any place with reliable internet access.

Our youth worker certificate is offered 100% online, allowing youth workers to access their training modules on a schedule that fits their busy life. The certificate course is user-friendly, research-based, and will help you grow both personally and professionally. Our youth worker certificate online provides you with inspiration and a solid foundation of broad knowledge and strategies for working with young people.

The Advantages of Certifications for Working with Youth

The certification for youth work online contains eight different focus areas that comprise our competency-based model for youth worker professional development. These areas were identified as essential by youth workers so you can be the best version of yourself when supporting our young people. Regardless of your experience, The Art and Science of Youth Work certificate course allows all youth workers to continue developing their professional knowledge, skills, and confidence. It ensures your entire team is highly trained, motivated, and prepared for success.

In addition to providing practical skills, increasing awareness, and learning best practices for engaging and supporting young people, our certificate in youth work online will count as 15 continuing education (CE) hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions on submission requirements.

Bring the best version of yourself to your work in supporting young people through our certificate course. This unique course helps you gain insight into what young people need most from you and how to best meet those needs. At the same time, it helps you gain insight into yourself. And self-awareness is exactly what great youth workers continually strive to develop. The Art and Science of Youth Work Certificate Course will get you there.

To find out more or for answers to your questions, send us a message. We are happy to help.

What Youth Workers are Saying

I came into the training a little biased because of my previous experience and education but honestly, I did learn new information, especially around mental health and at-risk behaviors. And I really see the value of the training for getting the whole team on the same page.
Deidre Jefferson, Teen Outreach Program Worker
The Art and Science of Youth Work certification program was excellent. The focus areas provided quality content with useful tools for anyone working with youth. I would highly recommend this program to individuals working youth.
Shelly Lottman Swift County Restorative Practices Coordinator
The training highlights a lot of different things that we encounter in our work and brings you back to the basics, helps you refocus and allows you to see the information from a new perspective, no matter what your level of experience is.
Javin-Machaias Hintz, Program Intern, completing a Masters in Social Work
I decided to take it myself because I wanted to put my whole team through the training and was interested in knowing firsthand what the training provided. Having my team up to speed on these topics means a better program overall and the ripple effect of that for the youth and our community is huge. The benefits of this training far outweigh the cost.
Brian Swerin, Senior District Executive, Juvenile Diversion program