Strengthening Families, Building Communities, Developing Minds

Positive Youth Development



Positive Youth Development (PYD 101) Training & Development


Register Now – (PYD 101)


The core purpose of the Positive Youth Development Training is to equip those critical agents who are in a youth’s life with the knowledge and understanding of Positive Youth Development. With this understanding, participants will learn simple and effective ways to engage young people through a strengths based, empowerment approach.

The Positive Youth Development curriculum aims to provide an orientation to the youth development approach for professionals new to the field of youth work. While maintaining core concepts of positive youth developments that were promoted by the New York State Advancing Youth Development (AYD) curricula, this training includes new activities, resources, and research findings.

Positive youth development is a framework that guides communities in the way they organize services, opportunities, and supports so that young people can develop to their full potential. Positive youth development is not just another program.

Communities that adopt a youth development approach emphasize these principles:

  1. Focus on strengths and positive outcomes. Rather than taking a deficit-based approach, communities intentionally help young people build on their strengths and develop the competencies, values, and connections they need for life and work.
  2. Youth voice and engagement. Youth are valued partners who have meaningful, decision-making roles in programs and communities.
  3. Strategies that involve all youth. Communities support and engage all youth rather than focusing solely on “high-risk” or “gifted” youth. Communities do however, recognize the need to identify and respond to specific problems faced by some youth (such as violence or premature parenthood).
  4. Community involvement and collaboration. Positive youth development includes but reaches beyond programs; it promotes organizational change and collaboration for community change. All sectors have a role to play in making the community a great place to grow up.
  5. Long-term commitment. Communities provide the ongoing, developmentally appropriate support young people need over the first 20 years of their lives.

The human ecology perspective informs the positive youth development philosophy. Rather than focusing solely on behavior change among youth, the positive youth development approach seeks to change the environments in which young people grow, act, and make decisions. To change these environments, it is necessary to change the attitudes of adults, as well as the policies and practices of organizations and groups in all community sectors. Drawing on the insights of human ecology, positive youth development improves youth outcomes by changing adults and their organizations, and ultimately changing the community itself.

The goals of this training are to:

  1. Increase knowledge and skills of new youth work professionals
  2. Establish a common language among youth work professionals
  3. Advance a youth development network in Trinidad and Tobago


Participants will:

  1. Identify core concepts of positive youth development.
  2. Describe core tasks of adolescent development.
  3. Identify implications for program development.
  4. Identify core competencies young people need to succeed.
  5. Outline a series of strategies to build these competencies.
  6. Identify services, opportunities and supports for youth in the community.
  7. Describe a strength-based approach to youth work.
  8. Utilize sparks/strengths to build skills.
  9. Define youth engagement and its forms.
  10. Understand the benefits and resistance to establishing youth engagement.
  11. Articulate the concept of adultism and its implications for youth work.
  12. Identify strategies to prepare young people for youth adult partnerships.
  13. Identify key components of effective programming.
  14. Identify strategies to enhance programming.
  15. Identify strategies to engage young people.
  16. Identify and demonstrate key elements of a common teaching strategy.
  17. Describe core competencies for youth workers.
  18. Identify strategies and local resources to develop competencies.
  19. Identify personal and professional boundaries.
  20. Identify strategies and resources to maintain boundaries.
  21. Describe common dilemmas in youth work.
  22. Learn and practice how to address dilemmas in program situations.

Programme Structure

Two Positive Youth Development Training will take place

  • Tuesday, March 24 – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 and
  • Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Friday, March 27, 2015

Based on input from the field, the curriculum was designed in distinct sections.

There are five sections:

  1. Positive Youth Development (PYD): Overview of the theoretical underpinnings and key principles of PYD and a brief review of adolescent development.
  2. Positive Youth Outcomes: Definition of positive outcomes and discussion of strategies to build these outcomes.
  3. Youth Voice and Engagement: Discussion of ways to give young people opportunities for meaningful engagement and overcome the barrier of adultism.
  4. Youth Development Programming: Review of features of effective youth development settings and youth‐centered learning approaches.
  5. Youth Worker Competencies: Discussion of competency frameworks, boundaries, and ethical dilemmas.

Drawing on an experiential learning model, the curriculum uses a range of small and large group activities to allow for active participation, discussion, and reflection, in combination with short lectures, informative handouts, and web‐based resources.

Target Audience

This curriculum is designed for professionals who work directly with youth in late childhood and adolescence in a wide range of educational, recreational, or residential programs. The training or its components can be used with supervisors, administrators, community volunteers, and funders interested in learning about the positive youth development framework.

The intended audience includes:
Teaching Professionals, Guidance Counsellors, Social Work Professionals, Community Activists, Religious Leaders and advocates for the underprivileged and destitute, Students in Psychology and related fields, Postgraduate students in education and related fields. This is also particularly beneficial to Wards of the State and persons who interact with children and youth regularly i.e. Day Care Owners, Parole Officers, Mentors and NGO’s and parents.

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