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Support Staff in Nurturing Youth Social Capital

Support is the third domain of the Social Capital Framework. It focuses on supporting staff growth so that they are well positioned to nurture youth social capital.

Supporting Staff

Becoming a social capital promoting organization means not only supporting youth in their development and growth, but also supporting staff. Building strong relationships with all young people and effectively connecting them with opportunities and resources is a skill that takes practice. Reflect on how you can best support staff growth in three key areas: staff asset-based mindset, authentic relationship building, and brokering skills.

Support

Key Principles to Support


Staff believe in youth assets and potential.
When staff believe in youth assets and potential they actively seek and acknowledge the strengths, skills, and unique talents that each youth brings to the table, rather than focusing on deficits or challenges. Staff will also be more likely to provide opportunities for youth to take on leadership roles, give them a say in decision making, and empower them to pursue their dreams and goals.

Staff engage in actions to create strong developmental relationships.
Building strong developmental relationships requires skills such as actively listening to youth, building mutual respect and trust, and genuine caring and understanding of youth’s unique backgrounds and experiences. Staff who engage in consistent and meaningful interactions, go beyond just the programmatic or task-oriented aspects of their roles to provide guidance, offer mentorship, and demonstrate a long-term commitment to youth’s wellbeing and development.

Staff connect youth with and facilitate access to relationships, resources, and opportunities.
Brokering skills refer to the ability to connect and facilitate relationships or access to resources and opportunities on the behalf of others. In the context of youth-serving organizations, staff with brokering skills can play a crucial role in supporting youth by acting as intermediaries to connect them with various services, opportunities, and valuable resources as they pursue their goals.

Success Story from the Field

The Youth Opportunity Checkup

Are you a Social Capital Promoting Organization?