Watch Our Webinar: Transformational Relationships and Youth Success

Posted February 8, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A webinar explores how relationships with young people can play an important role in their success.

When young peo­ple have faced dif­fi­cult life cir­cum­stances — like involve­ment in the juve­nile jus­tice or child wel­fare sys­tems — and they reflect on what helped them change their lives for the bet­ter, a strong bond with a front­line work­er often plays a promi­nent part in their story.

On Jan. 23, 2018, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion host­ed a webi­nar to explore these trans­for­ma­tion­al rela­tion­ships and the ben­e­fits that youth seek­ing edu­ca­tion­al and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties can gain from them. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both the Cen­ter for the Study of Social Pol­i­cy and New Par­a­digms Con­sult­ing par­tic­i­pat­ed in the session.

Watch the webinar

The engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion focused on a sev­en-page brief, Trans­for­ma­tion­al Rela­tion­ships for Youth Suc­cess,” that offers lessons culled from more than 80 inter­views with orga­ni­za­tions, their work­ers and the young peo­ple they support.

Read the brief

Dur­ing the ses­sion, par­tic­i­pants iden­ti­fied five impor­tant ways that staff in youth-serv­ing orga­ni­za­tions and sys­tems can help fos­ter trans­for­ma­tion­al rela­tion­ships. These are:

  1. putting rela­tion­ships at the heart of their practice;
  2. hir­ing work­ers who are opti­mistic, mature and dis­play a high capac­i­ty to relate;
  3. offer­ing con­crete help with such issues as jobs and school;
  4. help­ing work­ers pre­pare for dif­fi­cult peri­ods in a rela­tion­ship; and
  5. inter­act­ing with work­ers in ways that mod­el how to relate to young people.

When youth expe­ri­ence these bonds,” says Steve Cohen, a senior fel­low at the Cen­ter for the Study of Social Pol­i­cy and one of the brief’s authors, they begin to see that they mat­ter, that things can be dif­fer­ent for them and that their own actions can lead to a brighter future. That said, trans­for­ma­tion­al rela­tion­ships can’t sub­sti­tute for the crit­i­cal oppor­tu­ni­ties we know all young peo­ple need — a safe and sta­ble home, edu­ca­tion or a job.”

The webi­nar was one of sev­er­al the Foun­da­tion will host with its Learn and Earn to Achieve Poten­tial (LEAP)™ net­work this year. The ses­sions are designed to share best prac­tices that can help young peo­ple get on a path­way to oppor­tu­ni­ty after expe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness or involve­ment with the juve­nile jus­tice or child wel­fare systems.

Learn more about devel­op­ing pos­i­tive inter­ac­tions with youth in fos­ter care

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