This handbook, developed for the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, outlines key skills—core competencies—needed by afterschool program directors and those they supervise. For directors, those competencies include adopting a systematic approach to ensure that all staff members consistently embrace positive child and youth development practices; leading and managing change; and advocating on behalf of the program, its participants and staff. For staff, competencies include knowing the principles and practices of child and youth development; promoting an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment that embraces diversity; and effectively implementing curricula and program activities.

The handbook also offers guidance and tools for developing these core competencies, including questionnaires managers and youth workers can use to determine their strengths and weaknesses. The handbook was developed for the department by Wellesley College’s National Institute on Out-of-School Time, drawing on field efforts and research.

 Points of Interest

  • What do youth need from the afterschool professionals who work with them? Caring relationships with adults they can trust, healthy challenges and to be supported when taking positive risks.
    What kids need from adults in #afterschool: caring relationships, healthy challenges, support in positive risk-taking.
  • Underlying principles for providing effective afterschool services include building on youth strengths, setting and maintaining high expectations, and fostering positive relationships with peers and adults.
    Providing effective #afterschool services requires building on youth strengths, maintaining high expectations.