The Youth Development Training and Resource Center (YCTRC) was co-founded in 1993 by New Haven’s City Wide Youth Coalition (CWYC) and The Consultation Center (TCC). This unique collaboration between a network of youth-serving organizations and a recognized training and consultation center affiliated with the Yale Medical School’s Division of Prevention and Community Research, has become a leader in promoting youth development, advocating for a developmental approach to adolescence, and fostering youth-adult partnerships in Connecticut. Since 1993, hundreds of individuals from diverse agencies and community groups have taken advantage of the YDTRC trainings, events and support services
Why was YDTRC created?
YDTRC was founded as an intermediary resource for local organizations and for statewide initiatives in order to:
- Provide staff training for youth workers and supervisors of youth programs.
- Provide ongoing consultation and assistance to youth programs.
- Broker services and leverage resources to support youth development initiatives throughout Connecticut.
- Convene groups of stakeholders (funders of youth programs, community leaders, state agency representatives, etc.) to discuss mutual goals and interests in youth development.
- Work closely with stakeholders to promote quality services for young people with diverse service providers and statewide networks.
- Advocate for effective policies on youth issues, youth involvement in local program development and governance, youth rights, and youth leadership development.
- Link interested parties to local regional, state, and national networks to help keep Connecticut well-informed and well-connected to best practices and current research findings.
YDTRC as a B.E.S.T. site
In 1996, YDTRC became one of only 20 nationally designated Building Exemplary Systems for Training Youth Workers (B.E.S.T.) sites. This national initiative provides technical assistance, training and networking to community-based systems as they work to strengthen their capacity to train youth workers in the concepts of youth development. As a B.E.S.T. site, YDTRC maintains an ongoing relationship with the National Training Institute for Community Youth Work (NTI), a division of the Academy for Educational Development, thereby keeping YDTRC on the leading edge of advances in youth development.
The training and consultation model developed by YDTRC and implemented in the B.E.S.T. initiative was a critical component in the successful application in 1998 for a five-year demonstration grant from the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services .YDTRC collaborated with the Connecticut State Office of Policy and Management to continue to promote the use of the youth development framework with youth workers, diverse providers, and statewide networks. Importantly, YDTRC also facilitates the understanding of the framework to a group of youth funding organizations in order to sustain a focus on youth development across the state. Our Partners have been essential to our growth and work in the field of youth development.
The YDTRC has been actively and extensively involved with a number of after school initiatives in the state. Director Deborah Stewart was on the State team invited to attend the Disney Institute on after school, and since then has been active in the After School Alliance and various advocacy efforts for after school opportunities for children, youth and families. Ms. Stewart then worked with five community foundations and OPM to secure a two year grant (with match support) from the National Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth called “Leadership Institute on the Out of School Time”. She arranged for The After School Corporation in New York and the Safe and Sound program from Baltimore to address the CT Youth Funders Connection as part of the 5 year statewide Connecticut for Community Youth Development (CCYD) statewide initiative. CCYD continues to promote a vision and objectives for recognizing youth needs and talents.
Areas of Expertise
Strengths of YDTRC include providing a range of training, facilitating planning, convening diverse local and statewide groups, and establishing strong working relationships with multiple funders at the local, state and national level. YDTRC uses many communication networks (local and statewide newsletters, web site, and a set of information packets) to inform parents, youth, service providers, funders and policy makers about the important benefits of youth involvement strategies. YDTRC staff are active members of numerous state and national networks and associations, bringing up-to-date date research, evaluation, program and community youth development resource information and presenters into Connecticut. YDTRC prides itself on working as a collaborator with young people and adults in schools, community and faith-based organizations. YDTRC is committed to developing young people to their full potential.