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This journal article in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences examines the role of afterschool and recommends that programs focus on relationships, developing youth interest, identity and social capital. Given the pressure from government and funders to focus on academics, this is an equity issue because research shows that wealthier youth are more likely to be offered enrichment experiences to develop interests and identify, but low-income and youth of color are more likely to have OST as extended forms of child care or schooling. This resource supports equity.
This paper is designed to raise understanding and awareness of LGBTQ+ challenges, the current anti-LGBTQ climate, and ways that after school leaders can address these issues and support LGBTQ+ youth. Given that 2022 data found that only 37% of LGBTQ+ youth identified home as an affirming space and only 55% felt school was an affirming place, it is essential that OST programs access these resources prepare their staff to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment. This resource supports equity.
This introduction to disability inclusion for youth-serving organizations by Partners for Youth with Disabilities covers topics like the American Disabilities Act, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and inclusive communication. It also includes forms and resources. Note that registering with Partners for Youth with Disabilities is required in order to download this free resource.
This course from Better Kid Care focuses on three tiers of strategies educators and programs can use to create a culture of caring that prioritizes relationships and supports for mental health and well-being. These are important strategies, given that research has found that educators' emotional availability and sensitivity to children's needs decrease in times of stress. To promote well-being, the module suggests developing a culture of caring, deepening relationships, and promoting work-life balance and self-care. To prevent burnout, suggestions include offering job accommodations, reflective supervision, and referrals to community resources. There are helpful worksheets such as burnout assessment and team-building activities. Available in Spanish. This resource supports resiliency. This resource supports equity.
This issue brief explores how youth-led efforts can be a response to the rising number of youth with mental health challenges and the shortage of school psychologists and counselors. It includes an overview of an Ohio suicide prevention program and an Oregon teen-to-teen youth crisis line. There are also interviews with the youth leaders and a list of relevant resources. A companion webinar highlighting the experiences of three youth leaders in supporting peer-to-peer mental health programs can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikcpEPFByKw This resource supports resiliency.