PASA offers capacity building, technical assistance and professional development supports for after-school providers to improve staff capacity to offer high-quality programs. Professional development supports PASA’s overall quality improvement strategy and aligns with the quality standards.
Building Exemplary Systems for Training Youth Workers (BEST)
The Building Exemplary Systems for Training (BEST) youth worker training is a 32-hour certificate program offered in partnership with Health Resources in Action. The training is designed to build a better understanding of youth development principles and practices. More than 200 youth workers statewide have completed the training.
Workshops & Trainings
PASA partners with the Rhode Island Afterschool Plus Alliance (RIASPA) to provide a menu of workshops each year that align with the Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment (RIPQA) and meet the current needs of after-school providers. Examples of trainings in the past include:
- Youth Work Methods- An annual series of workshops designed to support program providers in integrating the core youth-development principles outlined in the Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment (RIPQA) into their after-school enrichment programs. These highly active workshops emphasize brainstorming, sharing strategies and using providers’ current knowledge to improve programming.
- Supervising Youth Workers
- Supporting Boys
- Afterschool Mini-conferences- These are thematic one-day conferences designed to provide afterschool professionals with a range of workshops on topics relevant to the field in a short, easy to access manner
Support for RIPQA
PASA has a cadre of trained Quality Advisors available to support after-school providers interested in using the RIPQA for self-assessment and continuous improvement. These advisors help providers create an observation and assessment schedule, observe their programs, and use the results of those observations to develop a quality improvement plan with specific action steps.
In order to fulfill the commitment to promoting positive youth development for Rhode Island’s children and youth, professionals in afterschool and youth development settings must have a clearly defined set of skills and knowledge. Core Competencies refer to the observable skills and dispositions needed by professionals in order to provide high-quality after-school experiences for children and youth. Competencies are concrete, observable, and achievable; and establish standards of practice that strengthen the profession.
A working group convened in 2008 to create a set of after school and youth development (ASYD) competencies. The working group was made up of representatives from RIASPA, PASA, CHILDSPAN, and Kids Klub, as well as after-school education consultants. The Rhode Island Core Knowledge and Core Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals are now complete and ready for use across Rhode Island.
The ASYD Core Competencies reflect new state developments and initiatives (e.g., RIPQA and BrightStars) as well as national trends in afterschool and youth development. They can be used to establish individualized professional development plans; assist administrators/directors in the creation of job descriptions; serve as a foundation when designing curriculum or professional development, etc. In addition to helping the field, the Core Competencies may also be used to outreach to other constituencies, including trainers, higher education, families, funders, and state agencies.