Frontline staff such as youth workers, mentors, coaches, tutors, counselors, interns, and volunteers, can be a valuable resource in the assessment process. They are the people on the ground who have deeper connections with the youth and who are interacting with youth the most frequently. They are more likely to notice both positive and negative attitudes, behaviors and interactions amongst the youth, between the youth and the staff, and with the parents or the community. Depending on your organizational culture and size, you will need to use different techniques to engage staff. Some ways to use the Program Climate Self Assessment tool with staff are:
Facilitate a discussion during a staff meeting using the Tool as a guide.
Distribute a copy of the Tool and ask each person to complete it individually so that staff feel they can be honest in their assessment. Compile the results and share them with staff, making sure you delete any comments that would break the anonymity of the process.
Use the Tool as observation tool – give staff time to sit and observe the interactions in the program without having any program responsibilities, so that they can see what is going on with fresh eyes. If you have multiple programs, have staff observe programs in which they don’t work.