BLOCS (Building Louisville’s Out-of-School Time Coordinated System) – a community partnership created by Metro United Way, Jefferson County Public Schools and Metro Government – focuses specifically on the quality, availability, access and continuous improvement of our out-of-school time (OST) programs. Not only is BLOCS striving to improve development opportunities for youth, but also for the adults who work with the children; we know that in order to have quality programs for our youth, we need to have skilled youth workers in our programs.
Recognizing, honoring and coordinating the professional training required to be a skilled youth work professional is something that had been missing in our community until now. Recently BLOCS launched the professional Youth Development Certificate (YDC).
In partnership with Jefferson Community and Technical College, the Youth Development Certificate is a 60 training hour Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificate that is open to any person who works with youth. The certificate is based on six skills areas or core competencies that are essential for adults to work successfully with young people and is built on research of an evidence-based practice program that has been shown to build social-emotional assets in youth.
“The Youth Development Certificate program will bring a level of professionalism to the many organizations in need of youth workers who serve within our communities. It will also develop standards and competencies to deliver outcome-based services,” said Grace Williams, Director of Human Resources, Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana. “We certainly want to be a part of preparing our youth for a great future!”
And so does Metro United Way! Nearly 100 people have already registered to continue to advance their education to benefit themselves and the youth they work with. This partnership with JCTC will increase quality in our OST programs to help make sure our youth stay in school, remain on grade level and graduate high school on time prepared for college, work and life.