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This updated policy statement from DHHS and the U.S. Department of Education underscores the urgency in improving services for children with disabilities. It includes the science-based benefits and the legal foundation for inclusion, recommendations for state policies to strengthen inclusion, as well as state examples of promising practices. This resource supports resiliency. This resource supports equity.
Today's youth are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. One way that schools and other youth organizations can provide support is by implementing a wellness room for kids who need space to sort out their emotions. This issue brief outlines benefits and offers tips for creating and using wellness rooms. This resource supports resiliency.
This Better Kid Care site from Penn State Extension offers research-based online training modules on a range of topics relevant to working with school-age children such as positive youth development and guidance, career preparation for youth, financial planning, and cultural competency and responsiveness. The modules include a combination of slides, video clips, research summaries, practical tips, and worksheets. Most are geared to practitioners. The trainings are free; a professional development certification of completion is $5-10. Some modules are available in Spanish.
This webinar explored how to better meet the needs of Native American and Indigenous youth and families in OST programs. Panelists representing national, state, and local organizations explored topics such as the goals of OST programs from family and caregiver perspectives. The barriers identified included lack of access to programs, transportation challenges, cost, and culturally insensitive funding streams. Also discussed was the importance of family engagement, the importance of preserving cultural traditions, and strategies to improve programs for indigenous youth. A related resource is the Afterschool Alliance survey results, America After 3 pm for Native American Families. This resource support equity.
The Center for American Progress explores the policies that schools can develop to support student mental health. The strategies include creating a statewide mental health task force, organizing interagency coordination, expanding Medicaid coverage of school-based mental health, increasing access to school-based mental health, and investing in school climate through trauma-informed care and building mental health into the curriculum. This is relevant for out-of-school programs as programs often tap into school-based mental health services. This resource supports resiliency.
This issue brief from the Children's Equity Project examines data from the Yale CARES survey of center-based, home-based, and informal child care providers, including 82,000 in 2020 and 50,000 in 2021. The survey found that 45% of providers reported depression, 27% reported stress, and 60% of providers reported increases in children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors. This resource supports equity. This resource supports resiliency.
Child care providers are often at the forefront of offering social-emotional learning and universal mental health support for school-age children. This tip sheet is a supplemental resource for direct service providers and offers simple strategies to successfully engage families, address youth development, and enhance staff progress while centering SEL and mental health services. For more information on targeted resources to elevate system and program initiatives, access the NCASE Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health Toolkit: Support for Systems and Programs Toolkit.
This planning tool from STEM Next was created to help OST programs that provide STEM programming to engage with families to support youth learning and success through collaborative culture and practices. The tool is organized by a new framework for family engagement in STEM known as CARE: Connect, Act, Reflect, and Empower. The tool was created through a review of the literature and input from an advisory council as well as state afterschool networks and providers. It can also be used by schools. This resource supports equity.
This issue brief is designed to raise understanding and awareness of restorative justice practices and identify ways after school leaders can integrate them. It provides definitions, principles of restorative justice, strategies for how they can be applied in afterschool programs, and resources. There is also a related webinar on Restorative Justice Practices in Afterschool Programs with experts from CA and FL who are researchers and who are applying restorative justice practices in schools and afterschool programs. See: Restorative Justice Practices in Afterschool Programs
This resource supports resiliency. This resource supports equity.
This issue brief is designed to raise understanding and awareness of the need for youth financial literacy and identify ways afterschool leaders can address these issues. Youth today can amass debt quickly in the form of school loans or credit card debt, yet few have access to financial literacy supports. Opportunities are especially limited for youth of color. Afterschool is a place where this learning can happen, and this paper provides resources like reports, curriculum, and resources for parents to support financial literacy starting in the elementary grades. This resource supports equity.