Friday, April 06, 2012

The Principles of Positive Youth Development Re-Cap

Last Friday, DCAYA hosted a special panel discussion on the principles of positive youth development (PYD) and how an outcomes framework like PYD can help facilitate better programming at local non-profits. This event was part of a series of events sponsored by the Horning Family Fund meant to help child and youth serving organizations from Wards 7 and 8 better align their programming with non-profits from across the city.

Our guest panel, which was moderated by DCAYA's Executive Director Maggie Riden,was comprised of:

Cara Fuller, Director of Workforce Development, Sasha Bruce Youthwork

Peter Guttmacher, Director of Programming and Curricula Development at the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation

and Selvon Waldron, Director of Development at Life Pieces to Masterpieces.

The panelists talked about the many creative ways they integrate the 12 Developmental Outcomes of PYD into their respective organization's missions and day-to-day programming. For Sasha Bruce's Youth Build Program, the outcomes around belonging/membership, responsibility/autonomy and employability were especially important because of their focus on on older and out-of-school youth, while for programs like LP2M all of the outcomes had to be addressed and implemented in different ways because of the focus on serving both younger children as well as teenagers. What a lot of providers found interesting was the commonality of PYD and how it could be used across different program areas to yield positive outcomes. For instance, some people found it shocking that traditional out-of-school time providers would have similar processes to workforce development programs or that organizations that provided services to homeless young people would track similar measures as interim outcomes.

Putting their funding hats on, Peter and Selvon also talked at length about how funding entities require the types of outcomes that a process like PYD facilitates and how in this time of economic uncertainty outcomes are the prime driver of funding decisions. Selvon also talked about how once an organization has an established system in place, tracking outcomes becomes second nature.

Overall we had a great group of providers in the room which lead to a great discussion with our panel and a lot of new interest around how to use positive youth development across sectors like housing, foster care and even in traditional educational options like schools which is always encouraging to see. The last of our events targeting providers and youth from Wards 7 and 8 will be our third annual Youth-Advocacy Day which will be held April 27th from 3:00pm-5:00pm in the John A. Wilson Building! Stay tuned for details!

For more information on DCAYA's East of the River Outreach Project, please contact Anne Abbott ( Special thanks to Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative for loaning us their space and to all of the providers from Wards 7 and 8 who came out to learn more about PYD including:

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