The BEST Training Institute is the professional development component of the BEST Initiative. This Training Institute helps meet the youth work field’s need for training in best practices based on positive, healthy outcomes for young people. It also supports the recognition of youth work as a profession.
The trainings employ a facilitative training approach that blends participatory learning and interactive and experiential exercises while connecting concepts to practice. Training opportunities available are:
- Youth Worker Certificate Training: This eight-session, 32-hour training is based on the nationally recognized Advancing Youth Development curriculum. This training provides youth workers with grounding in the youth development approach. They are introduced to an appropriate common language for discussing youth development, and provided with information about locally identified core competencies, childhood and adolescent development, cultural competence, gender and cultural sensitivity, positive youth outcomes, youth stereotyping, healthy relationships and boundaries, youth workers as community resources, and other critical issues.
- Level 2 Youth Worker Certificate Training: This five-session, 20-hour training is designed to deepen youth workers’ understanding of youth development principles, enhance their ability to engage and build leadership in young people, and strengthen their skills in key areas of facilitation and group management. The training focuses on building youth participation and leadership, intentional programming toward developmental outcomes, and facilitation skills for youth workers. This training is for graduates of the Youth Worker Certificate Program who have been working with young people for at least one year.
- **NEW OFFERING**The Youth Development Approach for Seasoned Youth Workers: This two-session, 8-hour training is designed for youth workers who have been in the youth-work field for at least five years or more. This training will take a look into the Youth Development Approach (YDA) and provide a common language framework for seasoned youth workers. The training also focuses on positive youth outcomes and the youth participation framework. This training is open to 5+yrs seasoned youth workers, as well as, youth workers who need a refresher on the Youth Worker Certificate Training (aka Level 1).
- Youth Work Supervisor Training: This four-session, 16-hour training focuses on supervision and program management in youth work. It addresses the roles and responsibilities of supervisors, communication, work relationships, program management, and the specific supervision of youth workers within a youth development framework.
- Supporting Girls: Gender Sensitivity Training: This four-session, 16-hour training provides youth workers with effective strategies and activities for teaching co-ed adolescent groups about gender issues, especially those relating to self-esteem and relationships. The training focuses on differing social development patterns for adolescent boys and girls, the impact of teaching/leadership styles on girls, and effective methods for empowering adolescent girls and assuring that they sustain a strong sense of self in the critical early adolescent years, especially in the context of co-ed groups.
- *NOW EXPANDED TO 4 WEEKS!* Supporting Boys: Gender Sensitivity Training: This four-session, 16-hour training provides youth workers with effective strategies and activities on how to integrate the youth development approach into programming that supports boys. The training encourages participants to explore strategies for understanding the mental health of boys and how to connect boys to resources. The training will help participants bring activities back to their programs that introduce boys to critical thought around gender, stereotypes and their positive skill development and outcomes.
- Youth Development Approach to Violence Prevention: This four-session, 16-hour training provides youth workers with some effective strategies on violence prevention, such as conflict resolution, and peace building activities. This training also teaches participants how to support young people’s leadership and advocacy skills and how to collaborate with other youth programs interested in these issues.
- Youth Development and Mental Health: Beyond Disorder, Into Wellness: This four-session, 16-hour training provides youth workers with a culturally competent lens for thinking about mental health and wellness from a youth development perspective. Participants will obtain a basic understanding of some mental health disorders, with specific focus on depression, anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
- Supporting Youth Leadership in Health Promotion: This two-session, 12-hour training is designed to explore the Inseparable Goals of youth development and health promotion. This training is interactive and employs discussion, activities, role-plays and case studies in supporting youth workers in learning the youth development approach and about youth-adult collaboration. This training particularly focuses on engaging youth in public health promotion work, addressing challenges and strategizing practical applications.
- Youth Development in the Arts: A Youth Worker Artist Training: This four-session, 16-hour training introduces youth workers and teaching artists to ways to reinforce the natural alignment between youth development principles and strong arts learning experiences. The training goes into depth about the youth development approach, using arts examples and including exploration of art education theory. The training team will include a trainer certified in the youth development approach and an experienced teaching artist.
- Youth Work Intensive Conference: This two-day conference for youth workers focuses on skill development, information sharing and networking. BEST brings together training providers and leading youth work practitioners to present a variety of workshops that address the day-to-day challenges of the profession.
Additionally, BEST offers shorter and customized trainings including: Youth Development 101, How to Supervise Youth, Working with Middle School Youth, Positive Behavior Management, Engaging Youth in Prevention Programming, etc.
For more information on our shorter, customized trainings, please contact Daisy P. Ortega by phone at 617-279-2240 x 209 or by email.