I’m not a huge person for New Year’s resolutions, but I do always try to think about some new intentions at the starts of seasons or transitions. What worked for me last year? What DIDN’T!? What do I want more of? What are the tools I need to make those things happen?
It’s the same at the Club! While we can’t plan for everything, we can leverage the tools at our disposal to support our growth and ensure quality at every level. Last year I shared some of our best resources to do this (and the great news is they all work for this year too!), and to help 2022 start on the right foot, I’m excited to bring you more.
It’s Time to Start a New CQI Cycle!
Program quality is the door to great outcomes for youth, and the Continuous Quality Improvement process is the key to unlocking it. Using CQI to improve program quality specifically speaks directly to our greatest strength in Clubs: the chance for young people to build supportive relationships with adults who care. We’ve talked about CQI here before, but a new year is the perfect plan to start a new Assess, Plan, Improve cycle. You can get all of the resources you need plus see what’s coming up on the training calendar in the CQI Toolkit.
Train Trainers So They Can Train the Trainings.
Staff training is one of the most cited needs at Clubs right now. Instead of having to wait for conferences or pay someone outside of your organization to come in, through BGCA’s National Trainers Initiative you can get your own staff certified at the Tier One or Tier Two levels. Only certified trainers can facilitate the BGCA catalog of trainings that covers topics such as Safety, Trauma-Informed Care, Racial Equity, Behavior Management, SMART Moves, and Teen Recruitment and Retention, with more added on a regular basis. This is also a great professional development opportunity if you are looking to grow. Visit BGCA.net/NTI to get all the information and see the upcoming training dates.
Start the Journey to Becoming Trauma-Informed.
Studies show two-thirds of young people have experienced at least one traumatic event by the age of 16, which puts them at an increased risk for physical and mental health problems, academic and behavior challenges, and decreased later life outcomes. (I’d argue that three-thirds of young people have following COVID!!!) Trauma-informed practice is an organizational development process that aims to improve your Club or Youth Center’s ability to effectively support young people impacted by trauma. We’ve got lots to assist you in the Trauma-Informed Resource Center, including training opportunities, diagnostics for staff, funding toolkits, and more. One simple first step is to have staff complete two new distance learning courses on SLU, Basics of Trauma and Trauma-Informed Practices for YDPs.
Build (Or Rebuild!) Partnerships and Engagement Efforts With Your Community.
COVID protocols meant that many Clubs have had to stay insular. It’s what it took to keep us all safe, but we also know that we can increase our impact when we have strong partnerships with our community. Luckily, the YD team recently released two guides to help you do just that. The School Partnerships Planning Guide and the Family and Caregiver Engagement Guide have tools for building strategy, templates, and more.
With these four tools in your backpocket, we’ll be ready to THRIVE in 2022! And don’t forget- if you are on Facebook join the BGCA Youth Development Community to connect with your colleagues across the Movement!