Best Practices

Whether your organization is just getting started or is an established pillar of your community, learning what others have done to improve their programs can help you provide the best environment possible for the youth you serve and for your frontline staff.

Model Programs and Best Practices

Here, you'll find links to model program guides and summaries of best practices in youth development and related fields.

Photograph of First Lady Michelle Obama shaking the hand of an Americorps leader, in a group of corps members.  Photograph courtesy of the Corporation for National and Community Service.Program Directory (

Identifying and Promoting Best Practices (Compassion Capital Fund National Resource Center Intermediary Development Series)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (U.S. Department of Justice)

A Self-Study Guide for Managers and Staff of Primary Support Programs for Young People (Chapin Hall)

Effective Practices Collection (Corporation for National & Community Service)

Elements of Effective Practice (MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership)

Faith in Partnership: Lessons from the Winning Models of Multi-Sector Collaboration in the 2005 ‘Partners in Transformation' Awards Program (FASTEN)

PEPNet – The Promising and Effective Practices Network (National Youth Employment Coalition)

Innovative Strategies for Youth with Disabilities (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability)

Promising Practices in Afterschool (Academy for Educational Development Center for Youth Development and Policy Research)

Promising Practices (The After-School Corporation)

Promising Practices Catalog (The Finance Project)

Staffing, Recruiting and Retention

Photograph of a handshake over a desk with a resume on it.Working with young people requires a certain set of skills and abilities. Follow the links below for resources on recruiting, training, and retaining top-quality youth service professionals.

4-H Apprenticeship Program On-the-Job Learning Syllabus (PDF, 142KB) (National Association of Extension 4-H Agents)

Capturing Promising Practices in Recruitment and Retention of Frontline Youth Workers (National Youth Development Information Center)

Core Competencies for Youth Work (PDF, 2000KB) (Networks for Youth Development)

Hired for Good (PDF, 105KB) (Center for the Study of Social Policy)

Improving the Quality of Human Services Through Results-Oriented Human Resource Management (PDF, 456KB) (Center for the Study of Social Policy)

Professional Development (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability)

Professional Development Series (National Youth Development Information Center)

So You Want To Work With Youth? (PDF, 6200KB) (Youth Development Institute)

Youth Work Central (Health Resources in Action’s BEST Initiative)

National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth | 5515 Security Lane, Suite 800 | North Bethesda, MD 20852 | (301) 608-8098 |