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Youth workers know that teens are experimenting with sex and relationships, struggling with substance use and mental health issues, or experiencing violence, yet many are hesitant or unsure about how to respond. Well-informed organizational policies about mental health, sexual health, substance use, healthy relationships, and sexual violence can guide and support staff to provide consistency for youth and strengthen a program's ability to be true to itself regardless of who attends the program each day. They can enable youth to ask questions, share their feelings, and grow into healthy adults.

Read more about the benefits of good policies and BE SAFE's model  for policy development.

In this section of the website you will find tools to help you:

Learn More

  • Positive Youth Development - This executive summary from the Department of Health and Human Services offers an evaluation of programs that implement a positive youth development approach.
  • Cultural Competence - This article provides a discussion of this important competency for youthworkers in out-of-school time programs and suggestions for cultural competency development.