Youth Development Trends: Focus on Older Youth (Collection)

Certificate Course
CEUs: 0.2
Clock Hours: 2Hr
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The Center for Early Adolescence at the University of North Carolina and the Search Institute have found that early adolescence is a time of rapid change in youth development and developmental needs. For many children, the characteristic needs of early adolescence begin to emerge as early as age nine, when children are still in elementary school and attending traditional OST programs. OST professionals who understand these emerging needs are better equipped to create successful program experiences with older children in their programs.

The number of quality OST programs for children between five and twelve is steadily growing across the country. At the same time, there is increasing public interest in establishing programs that can also address and support the out-of-school needs of children over age twelve. For many years, communities tried to meet the needs of older youth by a problem-solving approach that focused on helping youth by fixing what was wrong. New trends in youth development take a more positive approach and are focused on working with youth to create positive outcomes.

OST professionals who are knowledgeable about adolescent development and developmental needs and are knowledgeable about youth development research and trends can play important roles in helping their communities design and develop the next level of program services for children over the age of twelve. By learning about ways to support the developmental needs of older youth, OST professionals can join with others to create strategies and programs for continuing to build on the positive experiences younger children have in their OST programs.