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EXCITING NEWS! Starting April 1, 2024, individual trainings and the certificate course will no longer be available for purchase a la carte. YIPA members can now access them in our new LMS.
Become A Member
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Members enjoy unlimited access to Live Online and On-Demand webinar trainings for their entire organization for FREE. 18 new trainings are added each year.
The Field of Youth Work
You'll expand your professional acumen to understand the reach and importance of your role, serve as an effective advocate for youth, and pursue ongoing professional development.
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Empowering Youth Self-Advocacy
A skilled youth worker recognizes the potential youth have and understands their innate resilience. Encouraging a youth to take the lead can create safe, supportive spaces in your program to increase engagement and positive outcomes. The Cornerstone Youth Advocacy model will be reviewed to give insight into proven practices for empowering youth self-advocacy, fostering collaborative partnerships, and nurturing leadership skills. Learn how to help youth feel safe and recover from crisis by validating feelings, being a trusted adult, and teaching tools to cope with challenges.
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Youth Work Legislative Advocacy 101
Empower yourself as a youth work advocate! Many youth lack essential support due to underfunding and inadequate policies. This training, though specific to Minnesota, provides fundamental advocacy skills applicable anywhere. Learn how to influence legislation, navigate budget cycles, and effectively engage elected officials. Explore trauma-informed advocacy and gain the knowledge to champion life-changing interventions for youth. As youth workers, we can drive investment in youth work, reshape societal perceptions, and prevent young people from slipping through the cracks. Join us and be a catalyst for positive social change.
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Social Activism in Youth Work
As a youth worker, you have an important role to play in determining the social policies and funding for youth-serving organizations. You are the expert and your awareness of the youth you serve is needed to spark and maintain social change. Learning to use your power and your voice as an activist, you’ll discover how to effectively influence elected officials. Your ability to build trusting relationships with youth is exactly the right skill to becoming a powerful advocate with and for youth.
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How You and Your Organization Can Manage Burnout and Secondary Trauma
It’s not unusual for youth workers to encounter young people who have been exposed to trauma. But many youth workers are not aware of the risks of secondary trauma they themselves face. And their organizations may not be focused on building a supportive infrastructure. Every youth worker needs to understand how to recognize and address vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, or secondary traumatic stress to best help themselves. In this training you will learn to recognize the signs and distinguish the differences between burnout and secondary traumatic stress.
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Youth DO Have Rights!
Youth need you to be the strongest ally you can be. Equipping yourself with basic knowledge of the rights of youth helps build stronger bonds of trust. By helping youth advocate for themselves within their rights, you empower them. Learn about the rights youth have in various settings and contexts and recognize the scope of your support and capacity for cultural responsiveness. Gain resources to assist youth in understanding their rights, so you can encourage your youth to self-advocate.
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Positively Impacting Youth via a Grassroots Movement
As a youth worker you have the innate skills to be an effective advocate for our young people. Advocacy is centered on building relationships which you are already doing! In this Interview-Style training, you’ll learn why grassroots movements are so important in youth work and strategies to be an effective youth work advocate. This training focuses on the seven pillars of a grassroots movement. Don’t wait for someone else to change what we all know needs fixing…light the fire inside yourself and get involved!
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Engaging Parents as Partners in Your Programs: A Model for Parent Participation
Typically, not all parents’ voices are considered when youth-serving organizations make decisions that impact young people. Your youth-serving organization can better adapt to meet the needs of every young person when you engage parents as partners in decision making. This sense of connectedness is a key factor for positive youth development. PPAR (Parent Participatory Action Research) is an effective approach to improving parental engagement. Even if you can’t facilitate the PPAR process within your youth-serving organization, this training gives you valuable insights for equitable parent engagement.
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A Model for Collaborative Engagement with Young People
Being an adult in a young person’s life is an awesome responsibility and a rewarding experience. It can also be difficult, especially when young people act out or behave in challenging ways. Your task is to honor young people having agency over their beliefs, feelings, bodies, relationships, words, and goals. The Democratic Youth Engagement (DYE) model encourages adults working with young people to step beyond a “fix the kid” approach. This training will give you space to explore the values and virtues of democratically engaging with young people.
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The Gens: Bridging Builds Strong Teams
Today’s workplaces often have as many as five different generations represented in their teams. Generational diversity should be a major advantage with each differing in their defining values, work styles, communication skills, and priorities. But, without intentionality to bridge those differences, organizations are missing opportunities to increase engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and program outcomes. Gain insight about each generation at work and learn how to communicate more effectively to build an engaging workplace. Bridge generational differences to build a stronger team and improve your program outcomes.
Youth Development
You'll strengthen your commitment to implement positive youth development strategies, understand development channels, and support youth through developmental changes.
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Effective Consent Education
Educating youth about the skills of healthy consent helps them become more empowered throughout their lives. Your ability to help youth navigate consent at every age is a proactive way to give them the tools they need for healthy relationships with themselves and others. You’ll consider effective conversations to have at each developmental age, beyond just how to say ‘no’. With effective consent education you’ll help young people build boundaries and maintain healthy relationships to prevent harassment and sexual assault.
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A Systemic Approach to Youth Homelessness and Exploitation
Youth experiencing homelessness don’t always get the type of support they need. As a youth worker, you can learn how to support young people experiencing homelessness. It’s crucial to recognize the dynamics and systems that sometimes help, and sometimes don’t. This interview-style training will help you understand the connection between exploitation and youth experiencing homelessness, the effects of community systems, and what survival mode means. That will help you to generate a unique approach with each young person you serve.
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Supporting Youth in Life Transitions, Career Exploration, and Workforce Navigation
Young people will encounter many life transition points as they develop. Facing those transitions, a young person can feel excited and scared all at the same time. They need confidence to explore options and opt into the workforce in ways that work for them. This training is relevant to anyone working with middle school and high school aged youth. You'll learn to provide non-judgmental support, share valuable resources, and tackle common challenges, including addressing inequities in underserved communities.
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Adopting a Mentoring Mindset
No matter the type of youth work you do, whether you’re a formal mentor or not, adopting a mentoring mindset brings better outcomes. You’ll be better equipped to go beyond building resilience to beginning to address structural challenges faced by the young people you serve. Adopting the characteristics of effective mentors, will help you create and support quality relationships with youth. You’ll also learn how Critical Mentoring is advancing the mentoring field forward to raise youth voice and address structural challenges that impact young people.
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Helping Youth Make Healthy Choices
Youth don’t need lectures about health, they need help understanding how to make healthy choices. You can help them understand their barriers to change, and give them realistic strategies to make healthy choices. This training focuses on strategies to make healthy choices attractive and accessible to youth. You’ll learn to recognize common myths and misconceptions about making healthy choices. You’ll gain an understanding of behavior change basics, the dimensions of wellness, and how to increase interest and motivation for healthy behaviors in youth.
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Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Makes a Difference
Children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) will face challenges throughout their entire life. You can make a significant difference for a young person dealing with FASD by knowing what to expect for the developmental stage they are at. Learn to create a more supportive environment for them in your programs. This training will teach you about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the impact they have on brain development. You’ll hear about common symptoms and gain practical tips for working with youth struggling with FASD.
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Positive Youth Development in Talking About Sexuality Topics
A recent national survey found that 50% of teens feel uncomfortable talking with parents about sex. As a youth worker, you’ll likely find yourself in situations where sexuality topics such as relationships, sexual orientation, and sexual behaviors come up. This interactive presentation lets you explore the intersectionality of positive youth development and how to comfortably talk about sexuality topics with youth. You’ll better understand how positive youth development practices and authentic partnerships with youth help them learn and grow into sexually healthy young adults.
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The Trials and Tribulations of Adolescence
An adolescent’s development task is to establish a sense of identity regarding who they are and where they fit into society. As a youth worker, your task is to understand how to help youth become fully developed adults. Using a conversational format, this training will explore the trials and tribulations associated with adolescence and helps you gain a better understanding of this crucial developmental stage. Upon completion, you will be better equipped to guide young people into adulthood.
The Joy of Mindfulness for All Ages Featured Image
The Joy of Mindfulness for All Ages
Young people and adults all struggle with stress and distraction that can dampen their joy for life. No matter your age, there are easy and creative mindfulness practices you can use to reduce stress, improve focus, and increase self-regulation. This training will help you apply mindfulness techniques into your daily routine. You’ll also learn how you can introduce mindfulness practices to young people of all ages.
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Enhancing Executive Functioning Skills
Executive functioning skills are not something we’re born with, they develop over time as the brain develops. They may not be fully developed until age 25. As youth grow, relationships with the adults in their lives and the environments they are exposed to play a critical role in how executive functioning skills develop. Learn how you can facilitate development and provide appropriate ways to practice the skills in a safe space. With your help, young people will be better equipped to make healthier choices throughout their lives.
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Helping Young People Maintain Employment
Young people entering the workforce for the first time may not be prepared to handle the common challenges and obstacles they’ll face. Teaching about professional conduct and behavior will help them know what to expect when starting a new job. Instead of just hoping they’ll figure it out as they go, you can help set young people up for success in their first jobs. They’ll be able to carry what they learn into future positions and keep honing their skills.
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Health Literacy for Youth: Navigating Wellness with Confidence
It is harder for young people to make healthy decisions when they don’t have access to wellness information and evidence-based resources. Promoting health literacy encourages a lifetime of informed choices and optimal well-being for the youth that you serve. Join us to explore the critical role of health literacy in empowering youth to make informed decisions about their well-being. By focusing on essential skills, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence needed for a proactive approach to help young people navigate their personal health.
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Designing Impactful Art Programming
The developmental benefits of the arts for young people are vast, such as enhanced self-expression, self-awareness, self-esteem, and social skills. However, the way in which the arts are deployed influences their impact. This training will explore best practices for designing and delivering art programming that consistently packs a developmental punch. Drawing from the fields of neuroaesthetics, positive youth development, and restorative practices, you’ll come away with actionable ideas for improving art-based offerings for the youth you serve.
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Youth Sexual Health: Historical Context, Consent, and Meaning!
Learning to navigate the intricacies of relationships and touch is a significant need among youth. Teaching youth to avoid sexual abuse and assault is only the first step. This training offers historical perspectives and how they relate to sexual abuse and intergenerational trauma and hands on tools to address many concepts which can be hard for youth and families to understand or navigate. There is care given to allowing a wide range of family beliefs while still communicating the facts.
Communications
You'll gain communication flexibility which allows you to develop healthy, productive work relationships, engage in collaborative problem solving with youth, and improve individual and group facilitation.
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Design Thinking for Dynamic Youth Work
Design thinking is a process that broadens your perspective and helps you create better solutions no matter the type of problem. By incorporating design thinking into your youth work, you’ll be able to explore new alternatives and create options for your young people. This process leads to greater collaboration and solutions that recognize the needs, context, and culture of everyone involved, encouraging youth to be open-minded and try new things. Learn how to communicate with youth in ways that promote intrinsic motivation.
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Conflict Resolution Toolkit
Unlock the truth about conflict in adolescent development—it's a natural aspect of human relationships, not solely attributed to the teenage brain. In this crucial training, you will gain skills to model effective conflict resolution, helping young people understand conflict, face fears, and navigate conflicts effectively for lifelong benefits. Enhance your ability to deal with conflict, fostering stronger relationships and resilience. You’ll discover valuable tools applicable in both your daily work with young people and your personal life.
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Engaging Youth via Pop Culture
Tap into the power of youth narratives! Stories like Katniss Everdeen, J. Cole, Elsa and Anna, resonate deeply with youth. This training urges adults to engage with these narratives, fostering meaningful connections and allowing youth to share their stories authentically. Learn to go beyond routine inquiries, building rapport by embracing and understanding the stories important to youth. Explore the adult-youth relationship as cross-cultural, drawing on shared experiences. This course equips adults working with youth, in any setting, to harness the transformative potential of narratives for connection and growth.
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Talking Healthy Choices with Young People
Enhance your ability to engage with young people on healthy choices through effective listening. Learn to go beyond simply offering advice, and instead, create an atmosphere for growth by building self-awareness. Explore tools and concepts of active listening, supported by real youth work stories and experiences. Learn practical strategies to connect and communicate with young people about healthy choices. Gain insights to recognize and address challenges, especially for youth of color, as you empower them to expand their perspectives and make informed decisions about self-care.
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Transformative Conflict: A Trauma-Informed Approach to De-escalation, Healing, & Accountability
Learn transformative techniques to address conflict directly and compassionately, fostering healthier relationships and liberating communities from the toll of discord. This training empowers youth workers with de-escalation skills and insights into the root causes of challenging behaviors. Shift from reactive responses, shaped by personal histories of trauma and privilege, to centered approaches that honor the unique experiences of youth. Reflect on transitioning program practices from punitive to transformative, interrupting cycles of violence and creating space for individual and collective conflict resolution possibilities.
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How to Talk to Porcupines
Youth workers often encounter prickly personalities (porcupines) in their work with youth. Effectively redirecting youth can help both of you cross communication divides and learning how to break down communication barriers will help you better engage with the young people you serve. Explore principles of effective communication strategies including active listening, questioning, body language and non-verbal skills to positively engage with porcupines. Come ready to learn, laugh, and engage! You’ll leave with a new appreciation for porcupines.
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Equitable Sex Ed for People of All Abilities
Whether you’re working with youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities or neurotypical individuals, the need for equitable sex ed is the same. By challenging stereotypes, overcoming your fear, and developing confidence, you can be an empowered resource for equitable sex ed for all young people. Gain equitable sexual health strategies, resources, and confidence to address healthy relationships, consent, and boundaries. Learn a framework for answering difficult questions so you can respond to sexual behaviors in a positive way.
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Supporting Effective Youth-Adult Partnerships
Adults don’t often consider the effect of power in their interactions with youth but youth are almost always acutely aware, and uniquely affected. In that gap, there is tremendous potential for better outcomes, genuine trust, positive youth development, and meaningful systemic change. The key is in learning to implement effective youth-adult youth through the lens of youth-adult partnerships. Learn a framework for sharing power appropriately and strategies for implementing a youth-adult partnership approach in your programs.
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Improvisation is a Youth Work Superpower!
Youth workers need to be able to think on their feet. Learning improvisation techniques will give you all the practice you need. Build your self-confidence for dealing with challenging and unexpected moments by practicing improvisation. Incorporate improv into your programming to foster cooperation, inspire creativity, and strengthen problem-solving. Improvisation techniques are a fun and engaging way to connect and reinforce real trust in your relationships with youth. Let yourself play with improv in this safe learning environment and see where it may take you.
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Motivational Interviewing in Youth Work
Youth work is all about supporting positive change. The rapport you build as a youth worker puts you in an ideal position to use Motivational Interviewing skills. Rather than giving advice or instruction, you’ll be able to have collaborative conversations. Gain tools for initiating change talk to help the young people you serve define and reach their goals. Learn how to assess their readiness for change. Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, youth-centered approach to strengthen a person’s own motivation and commitment to change.
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Strategies for Talking with Youth About Sexuality
Your position as a youth worker provides youth with a trusted and valuable resource – an askable adult. You need to know how to respond to their questions, even if you feel uncomfortable with the topic. Examining your own values, ensuring you have a wide cultural lens, and recognizing appropriate boundaries is part of building the skills to talk confidently and positively with youth about sexuality. Thinking about sexuality as broader than risk prevention will help expand the dialogue. Learn specific and age-appropriate strategies for talking with youth.
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Storytelling and Humor as Learning Tools
Building caring relationships with young people requires a fine balance between being open and maintaining ethical and professional boundaries. Drawing on your personal experiences is invaluable but how much you share and how you share it matters. Storytelling and humor are two of the most powerful tools any youth worker can have in their toolkit. Learn how to hone these two powerful skills and consider how to inject your personality into your youth work through your own stories.
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Coaching Youth Toward Greater Self-efficacy
Social-emotional skills are vital for positive youth development and well-being because they are essential for connecting with others. Use life-coaching as a means of higher engagement with youth and as a tool to activate and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities. You will explore the science of questions as a framework for engaging young people. This training focuses on the practice and process of using a coaching methodology to effectively cultivate critical thinking and problem solving.
Ethics
You'll reinforce your responsibility to adhere to guidelines for professional behavior, role model self-management, and set and maintain healthy boundaries.
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The Power of Relationships in Youth Work
Establishing trusting relationships is essential in youth work. You need to keep the purpose of your relationships in mind. By building transparency, boundaries, and a sense of ethics into your relationships from the start, you can harness the power of relationships in youth work. Through self-reflection and practice, anyone can become more skilled at building relationships. Learn what makes relationships thrive in youth work, including building your character, maintaining congruency, a sense of trust, and appropriate self-disclosure.
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Ethical Considerations for Social Media Use with Youth
When using technology and social media in your role, there are potential risks and boundaries you need to navigate. Ethical considerations and understanding your responsibility to safeguard youth are critical to creating safe spaces. To make ethically informed decisions, learn what is needed to protect confidentiality, convey positive messaging, and help youth safely navigate technology. Ascertain best practices for respecting boundaries and strategies to maximize your connections with youth and sharpen your good judgment in relation to social media and mobile tech.
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Ethical Dilemmas in Youth Work
Ethical dilemmas can be among the hardest challenges for youth workers. They often surface unexpectedly and require a response with little time to think. Youth workers need to be prepared for that moment when we will confront an ethical dilemma. Gain a fuller understanding of the multi-faceted process of resolving ethical challenges. Learn about ethical dilemmas that frequently occur in youth programs and examine the ethical principles and values that guide youth work.
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Updated Considerations for Mandated Reporting
Mandated reporting laws protect youth from neglect or abuse. Youth workers generally must report when they have a 'reasonable suspicion’ of abuse. But that standard lacks clarity, leading to overreporting. Ethically, you should also weigh factors like poverty and racial inequity to guide your decision-making. This training addresses the ethical and legal aspects of fulfilling your duty to ensure the safety and well-being of young people.
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Minnesota Mandated Reporting Statutory Considerations
Attention Minnesota youth workers! This training equips you with vital insight about Minnesota mandated reporting laws, empowering you to ethically and effectively safeguard the youth you serve. Gain insights into the purpose of reporting mandates, grasp local reporting criteria in your area, and become a reliable ally. Explore available resources, key terms, and Minnesota child welfare agencies' jurisdictions. Above all, apply this newfound expertise to your daily work, ensuring you're well-prepared to fulfill Minnesota's reporting procedures.
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Recognizing Trafficking is Our Ethical Imperative
Human trafficking happens everywhere, and any youth can fall victim. Youth workers have an ethical and moral obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of young people. Expand your understanding of the different forms trafficking takes, the ways that youth are targeted and recruited, lured, groomed or coerced into trafficking. Raise your awareness about trafficking so you can identify red flags and warning signs, and equip yourself with strategies to support survivors.
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Restorative Justice and Gender-Based Violence in Youth Work
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global epidemic, adversely affecting millions of young people. Even if you believe GBV is not occurring in your youth program, there are likely participants who have experienced GBV. This training covers the basics of a restorative justice approach and the benefits and challenges of integrating it into gender-based violence prevention and response. You will learn how to be a stronger person-centered advocate while still adhering to your mandated reporter responsibilities.
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Self-Awareness for Youth Workers
Your personal experiences influence your ability to be an effective youth worker. You are always evolving and growing so self-awareness needs to be a top priority. Listen in on this thought-provoking conversation about how self-reflection and self-awareness can be the greatest asset you have in your work with youth. By taking this training you’ll understand your ethical responsibility for personal growth and its importance to the well-being of the young people you support.
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The Ethical Youth Worker
The best way to prevent unintentional harm is to prepare in advance for the unexpected ethical situations that typically arise. By learning about ethical approaches, you’ll strengthen your decision-making skills and decrease the likelihood of mistakes. Topics like self-disclosure, confidentiality, consent, and cultural competencies will be explored. You’ll examine various ethical scenarios and consider if there’s a right or wrong way to handle those situations. Engaging with young people ethically will lead to better outcomes for them and for you.
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Crisis Readiness for Youth Work Professionals
While most youth workers receive specific dos and don’ts crisis intervention training, few training courses delve into the critical role a youth worker plays in young people's toughest moments. Mastering a youth-centric mental framework is vital for dynamically empowering them with effective support during times of crisis. This is not your typical crisis intervention training. Join in on our enlightening interview with a pioneering expert who delves into the pivotal role of youth work and the lives of our young people.
Intercultural Engagement
You'll raise your awareness to embrace diversity, foster equity, ensure inclusion, recognize and address bias and prejudice, and cultivate respect for all cultures.
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We Are All Criminals
Our nation’s policies, policing, and prosecution have a disparate impact upon Black people, people of color, people experiencing poverty, and Indigenous people resulting in higher rates and weights of criminal records. Permanent and public criminal records perpetuate inequities, precluding millions of people from countless opportunities to move on and move up. Young people, directly and indirectly, are increasingly affected. We Are All Criminals questions the wisdom, sustainability, and humanity in those policies and practices. This training is a catalyst for conversations about race, class, crime, privilege, punishment, and second chances.
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Cultural Intelligence in Youth Work
The population of racially and ethnically diverse youth continues to grow in communities across America and around the globe. Developing a better understanding of the dynamics of diverse cultures takes dedicated effort. It’s not as simple as reading about “Diversity” or attending a “Cultural Competency” training. Work through cultural dynamics and learn how to advance the work you do to move beyond cultural competence to cultural intelligence. You will be more effective in your efforts to create inclusive programs that foster genuine equity.
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Gender Literacy for Inclusive Youth Work
As a youth worker, you may not even realize how many youth in your program are facing challenges around gender identity. When youth don’t feel safe or included in programming, they are more likely to withdraw or express risky behaviors and their relationships and emotional well-being suffer. You can change that by increasing your own gender literacy. Learn how to intentionally create safe and supportive environments that are inclusive to all.
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Trauma Across Generations: Engaging the African American Community
Historical trauma continues to impact communities of color everywhere. Having a big picture perspective of the many factors at play will help you be more aware of your own biases. You will then be able to more effectively engage in authentic and meaningful conversations surrounding race, trauma, and inequality with the youth you serve. Increase your awareness of the link between historical and intergenerational trauma, community challenges, and effective engagement with the African American community.
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LGBTQ Foundations: Awareness, Knowledge, and Skills
By being inclusive to the LGBTQ community, youth programs help provide a vital sense of connection and support. Gain an understanding of terminology that will help define the LGBTQ experience as well as give you an awareness of when and how to use this sort of vocabulary appropriately. You’ll be challenged to think about barriers and opportunities within your organization in creating more inclusive programs. Identify ways your organization can best support LGBTQ youth as they interact with others in your program and in other environments.
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How White Youth Workers Can Talk About Race and Racism
Avoiding talking about racism openly and honestly may adversely affect the positive development of young people. The relationships you build and the trust you foster with young people require meaningful conversations. Real connection is the heart of your work and requires you to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations. Youth work is social justice work. Consider how racism affects your youth work, your well-being, and its impact on the youth you serve. You’ll have a safe space to gain new insights.
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Culturally Inclusive Hmong American Youth Work
Empower AAPI youth, particularly Hmong Americans, by countering stereotypes and creating culturally inclusive spaces. Enhance your effectiveness as a youth worker by understanding Hmong cultural nuances and fostering inclusivity. This training offers insights into the Hmong community, equipping you to integrate cultural considerations. With the rise in AAPI hate crimes, your advocacy for Hmong American youth is vital. Break down myths, address cultural challenges, and champion positive outcomes. Elevate your role by dismantling stereotypes and promoting a supportive environment for AAPI youth's holistic development.
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Autism Through the Cultural Lens of Neurodiversity
Many people have a fixed idea of what autism looks like. Seeing autism through the cultural lens of neurodiversity opens the possibility for understanding beyond a medical model. Autism is a spectrum, and every individual has their own strengths and identities you can embrace and celebrate in your work with youth. Gain strategies to better support autistic individuals and be better prepared to help when an autistic youth faces barriers or challenges in your program.
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Starting and Sustaining Equity and Antiracism Work
Navigate the essential work of equity and antiracism in youth development within the diverse U.S. population. Overcome challenges in personal and systemic change, recognizing potential resistance. Learn to identify and address personal barriers to avoid reinforcing problematic narratives. Gain insights on where to start, sustain efforts, and pivot when facing resistance. Discover the power of small actions, practicing intercultural reflection and dialogue to navigate discomfort for real change. This training equips you for profound personal equity work, influencing change, and sustaining your journey with broader impact.
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Breaking the Cycle of White Supremacy Culture in Youth Work
Uncover and challenge the pervasive influence of white supremacy culture in organizations. Recognize the damaging characteristics that operate as unnoticed norms, hindering diversity and inclusion. This training guides you to overcome biases, confront harmful beliefs, and disrupt systemic oppression within institutions. By naming desired cultural norms, you take the first step toward a truly inclusive organization, fostering positive change. Energize your commitment to equity, break the cycle of socialization, and reframe perspectives on behavioral change. Discover achievable actions for internal work, creating a collective impact for greater equity in serving young people.
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Responding to Cultural Needs of Indigenous Youth
Understanding and responding to the cultural needs of Indigenous youth is an important skill set for every youth worker. By weaving cultural practices into your programs, you can foster healing, and reduce risk factors for Indigenous youth. Your connection can strengthen their resilience. Look into the roots of historical trauma for Indigenous people and learn how that trauma continues to impact them. With understanding, you will be better prepared to provide the needed cultural connection and support that builds their resilience and reduces harm.
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Building Inclusive Program Spaces for Indigenous Youth
As a youth worker, anything you can do to ensure your own program space is welcoming and safe for Indigenous youth will help reduce their risk for negative outcomes. An inclusive space, representing Indigenous culture and inviting connection with traditions and community, contributes to a much-needed and vital sense of belonging. Develop confidence to create culturally inclusive programming and encourage supportive dialogue. Learn how to draw on Indigenous tradition and culture to better support young people of various tribal connections in your program spaces.
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Creating LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Youth Spaces
Creating inclusive spaces is essential for ALL of us to be able to show up as our authentic selves. This training offers strategies and insights for co-creating respectful and affirming LGBTQ+ spaces for all young people in our communities. Topics include adapting physical spaces, age-appropriate tools to talk about gender and sexuality, and more. Affirming identities and lived experiences creates positive outcomes, reduces harm, and allows youth to gain the confidence to navigate systems.
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Confronting Ableism in Youth Work to Empower Youth with Disabilities
This training focuses on working with youth with disabilities, including a discussion on identity-first vs. person-first language, a description of ableism and how it shows up in social services at multiple levels, and a history of oppressive practices. You will also explore a more empowering approach to working with youth with disabilities than traditional services have provided. You will gain several strategies to improve accessibility and inclusion of youth with disabilities in your programs.
Behavioral Intervention
You'll adopt a mindset and perspective to understand the connection between emotions and behaviors, effectively model managing your own emotions as you teach youth to manage theirs, and diffuse dysregulated behavior and help youth re-regulate.
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An Inside-Out Approach to Navigating Youth Trauma
Gain strategies to support young people who are learning how to trust and find safety in everyday life, when safety risks are a reality for them. Improve your ability to communicate safety by maintaining your own regulation. Recognize how self-care strategies are vital to being more present to youth that have experienced trauma. This training will give you tools, deepen your understanding, and build your capacity to support young people who are experiencing and trying to navigate a profoundly intense world.
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Calming Challenging Behavior
Understanding the ‘brain on fire’ reactions that drive anger, anxiety, and power struggles is the foundation for interventions that calm challenging behaviors. Using effective connection strategies, you can help young people articulate what’s going on inside. And you can share these tools and strategies with parents as well to support more positive interactions outside of your program. This training offers a practical approach, grounded in brain science, mindfulness, and positive youth development. Having more knowledge and skills to avoid frustration and stress will reenergize you for this important work.
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Using Behavior Interventions to Build Self-Regulation
The ability to self-regulate is not innate, rather youth learn to understand their emotions and practice managing their behavior with guidance from the caring adults in their lives. Behavior management is a critical component of youth work, and effective interventions are not a one-size-fits-all approach. You can use behavior interventions with youth to help them learn how to self-regulate while also building a relationship, and that relationship will play a huge role in your interventions over time.
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Help All Youth Heal: A Journey Through Restorative Practices
Shifting to a restorative framework improves your interventions and give youth tools they can use in spaces that aren’t set up to empower them. You’ll have a stronger foundation for more effective communication and be better prepared to deal with your own discomfort, particularly in conflict situations. Learning the basics of restorative practices is vital to building systemic equity. You’ll develop plans for addressing the behavior challenges that bring you the most discomfort in your daily work. You’ll gain tools to help youth believe in their capacity, self-worth, and voice.
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Less Stress with Move Mindfully® Interventions
Because youth experience a lot of stress, it is imperative that you introduce techniques that build resiliency and help them navigate difficult times. Learn practical interventions to assist youth with self-regulation, focus, de-escalation, community connection and overall well-being. Understanding neuroscience and the impact of stress will help you recognize signs of trauma and intervene effectively with mind-body practices. You will practice regulating movement, breath work, relaxation techniques and social emotional activities to help youth build connection and a sense of safety in their body.
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Enhancing the Natural Resilience of Survival-Oriented Youth
Young people experiencing ongoing life challenges that result in unmet needs, homelessness, violence and other traumas often develop a survival orientation. Many adults, especially those in positions of authority, inappropriately judge their behaviors as resistance, misbehavior, and unwillingness to engage. You are in a position to teach young people new skills to enhance their natural resilience. You’ll gain practical methods for helping survival-oriented young people learn to adapt their resiliency skills for better results in school, work, and social settings.
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The Welcome Table: Supporting SEL with Facilitated Play
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is fundamental to helping young people develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed in life. Self-awareness, emotional regulation, empathy, and the ability to form supportive relationships are the aim of SEL. Build on your understanding of youth development, focusing on the importance of social and emotional skills. Learn strategies to create SEL opportunities in any type of programming and strengthen your ability to teach and model positive social and emotional skills.
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Linda, Listen to Me…Understanding Conflict
How you understand, respond to, and de-escalate conflict matters in achieving the best outcomes for youth. There are skills and strategies for managing conflict effectively. In conflict situations, these are healthy protective factors that could even be a life-saving skill set. Develop a broader understanding of the causes of conflict. Learn about the conflict cycle, the psychological elements that connect stressful events to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You’ll gain tools and strategies to respond to challenging behavior and difficult situations, and be better equipped to de-escalate potential crisis situations.
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Empower Young People Using a Restorative Justice Lens
Punitive consequences for young people’s behavior often address a symptom and don’t get at the root causes of harm or conflict that is compounded by these stresses and injustices. Restorative justice practices center the focus on building and repairing positive relationships for shared problem solving rather than punitive repercussions for unwanted behavior. Consider how you can bring restorative justice and a restorative mindset to your work with young people. Your efforts may take more time this way, but the positive collaboration leads to better outcomes for all.
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Life Space Crisis Intervention in Youth Work
When the young people you work with exhibit challenging behaviors it can be hard to know what to do in the moment. With Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI), you can turn a problematic situation into a learning opportunity. LSCI is a brain-based, trauma-informed, relationship-building verbal strategy that helps minimize conflict and stress and promotes long-term behavior change. This interview-style training will give you great insight into the LSCI framework and how you can bring it into your youth work.
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Using De-escalation and Drain-off for Behavior Challenges and Crisis
When you’re challenged by youth behaviors, in the moment you may have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the young person. Using the foundations of Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) as a framework, you can reshape the way you think about challenging behaviors through an understanding of what underlies them in the first place. Join us to gain de-escalation and behavior prevention strategies. Take time to reflect on strategies you can use to keep yourself calm and collected while addressing challenging behavior or crises.
At-Risk Behaviors
You'll develop life-saving skills to identify the warning signs of unhealthy and risky behavior, understand risky behaviors based on a knowledge of adolescent brain development, and know when to report and refer.
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Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Youth Work
When youth act out or behave negatively, it may seem they are just trying to cause trouble. That thinking perpetuates the false narrative that some youth are simply “bad kids.” Research reveals there’s often an underlying reason for their behavior and it may not be in their control. Many of the young people you work with will likely have been affected by ACEs. Your ability to recognize and understand the effects of ACEs, especially when seeing negative behaviors, will prepare you to be a better support system for young people.
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The Crisis of Our Black Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Studies show significant disproportionality in the representation of black youth in the juvenile justice system. This negatively impacts their engagement with school, employment, and their mental and chemical health. Data tells us this is a crisis. As a youth worker, understanding how systems impact the youth you serve will improve your outcomes with them. This Interview-Style training includes statistics about young black youth and juvenile justice. You’ll also gain insight into how slavery continues to have an impact today, and learn about alternatives to detention through community support.
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Recognizing Risks and Building Effective Responses to Human Trafficking and Exploitation
Youth are often targeted by sex and labor traffickers because they are more vulnerable and less likely than adults to know where to turn for help. This training focuses on sex and labor trafficking and exploitation, with a particular focus on building effective responses for youth and young adults who are victims/survivors or are at risk of harm. You’ll learn about the characteristics of at-risk youth, the tactics of traffickers and exploiters, common misconceptions about trafficking and exploitation, available resources, and best practices for working with youth.
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Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
You can help prevent substance abuse in the youth you serve. Understanding different types of risk and protective factors that impact substance abuse will assist your prevention efforts. Lessons learned in Minnesota by the Regional Prevention Coordinators offer proven substance abuse prevention skills for any community. You’ll learn about effective protective factors, gain tools you can use, and explore practical action steps to apply in your youth programs. You’ll also be able to find and use local data to strengthen your own prevention efforts.
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The Incremental Strategy of Harm Reduction in Youth Work
Many youth do not know how to avoid or escape harmful situations and circumstances, even if they want to. The philosophy of harm reduction meets youth where they are with respect and without judgement and works with them to build step by step strategies toward positive change. As a youth worker, implementing harm reduction practices allows you to focus on their immediate needs and incremental solutions to best support them. This is an emerging practice that all youth workers will benefit from.
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Relationships, Girls, and Juvenile Justice Interventions
Girls are the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system. Relationship-building between girls and adults is one of the most critical factors in their healthy development. Your ability to provide trauma-informed and gender-specific intervention strategies for girls is critical. This training will provide you with insight into common characteristics of system-involved girls so that you can better understand their unique needs. When you know how much relationships matter, you’ll be more effective in improving the long-term outcomes for girls.
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Suicide Prevention Steps Youth Workers Need to Know
Whether or not you are appropriately trained in suicide prevention techniques can make the difference between life and death for the youth you work with. One of the most effective suicide prevention strategies is the three step QPR program. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer. Just like CPR, it is an emergency response to someone in crisis. QPR is listed in SAMSHA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Policies. Gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to address warning signs and behaviors that signal imminent danger.
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Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
Self-sabotaging behaviors are often a normal part of change and youth workers need to know how to appropriately respond. This is often a phase in the growth process and likely a time young people need support the most. There are strategies we can use to effectively help youth at this critical juncture in their lives. You’ll gain an understanding of the cycle of self-sabotaging behaviors. You’ll learn practical approaches that will prepare you to effectively support youth as they are working on changing behaviors.
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ADHD Awareness and Strategies for Youth Workers
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. ADHD affects how the brain grows and develops. As a youth worker, you could be a key part of the support network for a young person with ADHD. This training will expand your understanding of ADHD. Knowing the facts will help dispel myths about ADHD so you can be a better resource for young people. You’ll be better able to appreciate the strengths of young people with ADHD and better equipped to address their unique challenges.
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Recognizing Labor Trafficking
Human trafficking is exploitation of a person involving force, fraud, or coercion. Many people think of human trafficking as sex trafficking. But an equally harmful form is labor trafficking. This is a global issue and it can happen right under our noses. Young people may not even realize they are in a trafficking situation until it is too late. Learn warning signs you can watch for and questions you can ask to identify when a young person needs help.
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Exploring Trends in Tech Use and Internet Safety with Youth
When young people don’t see the need to access the internet carefully, they may experience harm or exploitation with lasting negative impacts. Creating space to talk about what they’re experiencing online is essential. You can support youth by engaging in open conversations about safe social media use and equip them with critical thinking skills to safely navigate the digital landscape. Join us to ensure you’re contributing to safer online experiences for the youth you work with.
Mental Health Basics
You'll build your understanding of prevalent mental health issues among youth today, learn how to connect youth with appropriate mental health resources, and practice good self-care strategies.
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Oppressive Trauma-informed Youth Work
Youth workers must recognize the effects of oppressive trauma and learn strategies to promote healing and resiliency. You can foster system accountability throughout your organization and youth programs. Expanding your understanding of oppressive trauma-informed practices supports equity for young people. You will be encouraged to examine your role in building a “new normal” where we have system accountability and thoughtfully designed programming for healing rather than harm for young people of color and other marginalized groups that experience ongoing harm from racialized and historical trauma.
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Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Plans
Hearing a young person having suicidal thoughts and plans can be alarming. But being prepared ahead of time will give you more confidence and courage to address suicidal ideation, warning signs, and risk factors. As a youth worker, the trusting relationships you have with young people make you a valuable resource in suicide prevention and intervention. This training will provide guidance and tools to equip you to address these situations. And give you resources you can suggest for young people.
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Navigating Grief and Loss with Young People
Youth workers often encounter the challenging task of helping young people navigate grief, which can be an emotionally and mentally complex experience. You need knowledge and skills to create a safe and supportive environment for grieving youth and young adults to help them process their emotions and promote healing. Join us to explore age-appropriate grief interventions, communication strategies, and tools to address various types of loss. You’ll be able to guide young people through their grief journeys with hope and strength when they need it most.
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Supporting Young People with Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are on the rise. They can affect anyone but adolescence is a common age of onset. You don’t need to become an expert in eating disorders but should know how to recognize warning signs of common types of eating disorders. Learning how to refer a young person for an eating disorder assessment could save their life. Learn about the different types of eating disorders, intervention strategies, and current treatment approaches available. Gain knowledge and skill to support a young person struggling with an eating disorder.
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Suicide Prevention: Pathway to Care and Postvention
We all have a role to play in suicide prevention. You will be better equipped to help when you understand how a Pathway to Care strategy is used as part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. Learn what you can do within a framework of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Explore suicide as a public health problem that can be addressed with principles of postvention to promote healing and prevention. Gain resources to be more confident in partnering and referring to fully support young people in all respects.
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Changing the Narrative on Mental Health and Suicide
In this training, you’ll learn how to have healthy conversations on mental health and suicide, how to avoid harmful messages that might increase suicide risk in individuals, and why changing our language is an important first step in suicide prevention. You’ll gain skills to reduce stigma, mitigate risks, and promote help-seeking behavior. You’ll expand your knowledge of warning signs to look for, potential risk and protective factors connected with suicidal outcomes, and what to do when someone needs help.
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Promoting Optimal Mental Health
Mental health conditions are increasing worldwide. Youth workers see the effects of mental health challenges in young people daily. That often creates mental health challenges for youth workers too. It is critical to sharpen your self-care skills, and increase support systems for optimal mental health for yourself and young people. Gain insight and a more expansive understanding about mental illness and mental health. Learn about mental flourishing as a framework for supporting your own mental health and a tool to help young people manage their mental health.
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A Trauma-Informed Approach for Cultural Intelligence and Healing
Youth workers need to be trauma-informed and culturally intelligent to effectively engage with each other and young people. Bringing a trauma-informed approach to your programs offers stronger supports for both you and the young people you serve. Building your cultural intelligence skills helps bridge the gap between school or program and home, considering past and current trauma while wholly assisting youth in programming to become productive adults. Learn what Cultural Intelligence is and how it builds resilience and supports well-being.
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Real Talk About Resilience
Resilience is more than bouncing back from stress or trauma. When bouncing back means getting back to ‘normal’ we aren’t giving space to process how stress or trauma change us. Self-reflection, growth in discomfort, and doing things differently starts with you. Explore how different kinds of resilience help or hinder dealing with adversity. Learn about the Ripples of Resilience model as a method to facilitate self-awareness, truth telling, and power sharing. You’ll be better able to support young people with healthy strategies to handle stress.
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Meditative Movements™ to Self-Regulate and De-escalate
Meditative Movements™ is an innovative technique that integrates easy to follow movements to improve self-care and self-regulation. The movements are adaptable to anyone’s physical ability and incorporate breathing strategies and spoken core value affirmations. Explore the mind, body, and being connection and how it affects behavior. Practice Meditative Movements™ that release harmful energies while increasing nurturing ones. As you become more aware, you will be better equipped to handle difficult situations. When emotions are heightened, you can redirect and deescalate behavior by performing Meditative Movements™ in the moment.
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Understanding Mental Health First Aid
One in five youth between the ages of 13 to 18 have, or will develop, a serious mental illness per the National Institute of Mental Health. Any adult who works with young people needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges. Jade Schleif, YIPA’s training coordinator, sat down for a very informative conversation with Lee Berlinquette, National Trainer for Mental Health First Aid. Lee shares her personal lived experience and deep professional knowledge to raise awareness about the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) movement.
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Addressing Youth Mental Health Challenges
It’s very likely that you will work with young people that could develop mental health challenges. So, it’s critical that you understand the differences between mental health and mental illness. Learn how to be an objective listener and provide non-judgmental support for young people with mental health challenges. Gain confidence in your ability to support youth facing mental health challenges. You’ll explore the mindset needed to recognize and respond to a young person experiencing a mental health crisis.
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Pre-prevention Tools to Improve Suicide Prevention
Suicide has become the second-leading cause of death for young people aged 10-24 in the United States. Learn to recognize early warning signs and gain pre-prevention tools to build emotional regulation, distress tolerance, anger management, emotional validation, and impulsivity control. Help youth build healthy coping skills to avoid feeling suicidal or depressed. Talking with young people about suicide is easier when you have the tools to help them develop skills to manage the stresses that threaten their mental health and well-being.
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Mirroring and Modeling Social Emotional Well-being for Youth
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) says, “social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” Explore a research-based four step process, the Infinite Well-Being ModelTM. You’ll leave with a toolkit of practices to help you and the young people you serve build resiliency and mindfulness to better handle stresses in the moment.
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How You Can Help Youth Manage Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of the pre-teen and adolescent years. But unmanaged or excessive anxiety negatively impacts youth development. Anxiety is highly treatable, but too often it goes unnoticed and therefore untreated. It’s imperative you know how to effectively help young people cope with anxiety. With proper interventions, you can positively influence the way youth deal with anxiety. Understand the common types you’ll encounter and the warning signs to watch for. Learn practical ways you can help youth manage their anxiety.
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Identifying and Addressing Depression in Youth
Youth depression is on the rise in the United States. As a youth worker, it’s important to be aware of the red flags and learn when and how to intervene. Having a basic understanding of what to look for and how to help gives you skills to support youth struggling with depression. There are different types of depressive disorders, but you don’t need to know them all or be a psychologist to help youth with depression. Learn how depression develops in youth and how to identify warning signs.
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Honoring Indigenous Traditions for Youth Health and Wellbeing
The health and well-being of indigenous youth is often impacted by historical trauma passed on through generations. Gain insight about the impact of historical trauma within indigenous communities. Learn how to support traditional recovery and healing practices, beyond western mental health approaches. You’ll be empowered through cultural skills and knowledge of historical trauma to better serve native youth. You’ll come away with knowledge of cultural healing and some culturally infused holistic healing practices to best support the health and wellbeing of indigenous youth.