With federal grant funds, the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) was able to either update existing training material or develop new material to support the professional development of staff in juvenile confinement facilities. Each training module listed below contains a Facilitator Guide, a Participant Manual, a PowerPoint Presentation, and video segments from the NPJSpeaks Series highlighting nationally recognized experts speaking on the training topic. We hope you find the resources beneficial to your training efforts. Requests for additional training and technical assistance support can be directed to the NPJS office at NPJS@me.com.
Adolescence is a time of dramatic change—physical, social, cognitive, and emotional—change characterized by profound and often scary behaviors, such as sensation seeking, risk-taking, and sometimes baffling decision-making. As adults we frequently end up asking: “What in the world was s/he thinking?” Adolescent brain research conducted over the past decade allows us to begin to understand what is happening to produce those frustrating, scary, and ultimately life-affirming behaviors we see in adolescents. In this session, participants will hear Dr. Rodney Erwin talk about findings from this research and, through group activities and discussion look at specific ways staff can have a positive impact on adolescent development in a confinement environment.
Adolescent Development Video Segment 1
Adolescent Development Video Segment 2
Adolescent Development Video Segment 3
“What I am today is a reflection of what I have learned, not of my potential.” (Virginia Satire). With an emphasis on relationships, a good behavior management system uses deliberate strategies and techniques to influence youth’s behavior choices. Effective behavior management focuses not only on a youth’s immediate behavior, but also on the conditions that came before the behavior and the manner in which staff respond. It is a dynamic process where values, culture, human and physical factors play a role in youth success. More than just having youth follow rules, Behavior Management looks to engage, foster accountability, teach responsibility and reinforce appropriate behavior choices from youth.
This module introduces staff to the concepts of Building Healthy Relationships with Youth and provides examples and practice in developing and facilitating those relationships. It also provides material for agency and program administrators to help support their staff in building relationships and to follow up after the learning experience to ensure staff practice what they learn on the job. Following this training, you will be able to:
- Identify the purpose and importance of each of the multiple roles youth care workers need to have with youth
- Practice active listening and other appropriate communication skills staff need in order to be an effective role model for youth
- Identify the skills youth need to develop to engage in healthy peer-to-peer relationships
- Identify the challenges staff face in promoting and encouraging supportive relationships with and among youth
- Develop a personal plan for building healthy relationships with youth
With the downsizing of juvenile justice facilities, those who remain in custody are among the most disturbed and challenging youth in the nation. Participants will learn about a balanced, blended approach to meet the needs of this difficult population. This training explores the impact of trauma and mental disorders among confined youth, and provides some practical “do’s and don’ts” for effectively managing them in facilities—as well as the impact on staff who work with this very troubled population. Video clips of Dr. Lisa Boesky, one of the country’s foremost experts in mental health disorders among youth in custody, will be included.
This program introduces staff to the concepts of Positive Youth Development and provides examples and practice in developing and facilitating positive youth development activities for young people. It also provides pre-training material for agency and program administrators to help prepare their staff to transition toward a Positive Youth Development approach and to follow up after the learning experience to ensure staff begin and continue practicing what they learn on the job.
What would you do if a youth tried to kill themselves on your shift? Suicide is the leading cause of death in juvenile justice facilities. Participants in this session will learn about key issues related to who is at risk for suicide, screening confined youth for suicide risk, national standards and best practices in suicide prevention among youth in confinement, strategies for minimizing liability, and much more. Video clips of Dr. Lisa Boesky, one of the country’s foremost experts in suicide prevention among youth in custody, will also be included.
This module defines trauma and the impact that traumatic events and chronic stress can have on brain development and executive functioning in adolescents. The training addresses the delicate balance that is required by juvenile care workers who are charged with effectively managing youth behavior AND participating in the treatment of this very difficult population who often have both a Trauma History and a Criminal History. The needs of this population are identified and strategies are explored that direct care staff can use in their day-to-day interactions with detained and incarcerated youth. The training concludes with a focus on Vicarious Trauma and a strong recommendation for staff working with this very difficult population to develop and follow a Self Care Plan to maintain balance in their own lives.