Staff development for the youth development professional: A Critical Framework for Understanding the Work

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Angela J. Huebner - , Department of Paediatrics (Author)
  • Joyce A. Walker - (Author)
  • Marcia McFarland - , Kansas State University (Author)


Despite escalating interest in positive youth development, there is little agreement on what comprises the actual "work" of youth development and even less on the role of staff development for youth workers. To strengthen professional practice and hence the quality of youth development programs, an understanding must be developed of the distinguishing features or the essential elements of positive youth development work and the ways in which these elements can best be communicated to the field through staff development. This article suggests a framework for critical reflection on practices that encourage community-based youth workers to explore and apply the lessons of positive youth development in their programs. The article discusses the experience of facilitating adult learning within this curriculum, the responses of participants, and the implications for the youth development field.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-225
Number of pages22
Journal Youth & society : a quarterly journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003



  • Staff development, Youth development