What We Do

This is Not Just a Training, It’s a Movement.  Join Us!

What We Do

The Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project (YTP) is a unique collaboration between current and former foster youth (ages 16-24), child welfare professionals, and youth-serving organizations. We empower transition-age foster youth, who are experts in navigating the foster care system, to develop and deliver best-practice training for professionals who support transition-age youth.

Since its inception in 2000, YTP has trained, employed, and supported more than 135 youth, who have in turn trained over 6,700 child welfare professionals on the needs of foster youth and the practices that best support transition-age youth. Many of our youth have multi-year relationships with YTP, during which they grow into exceptional trainers, advocates, and leaders—and find rewards they could not have imagined. For an overview of the Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project, presented by our youth trainers, click here.

As of 2012, we are a proud project of California Youth Connection.

What We Provide

We offer Youth Development Services, through which youth discover newfound confidence, create connection and community, and develop new professional and interpersonal skills. Through our Leadership Institute, we train youth in communication, facilitation, and teamwork. In our Curriculum Development program, youth receive guidance from seasoned instructional designers and develop professional quality training programs for child welfare professionals.

In our Training programs, our empowered youth trainers draw from their experiences as consumers of the child welfare system to deliver potent training to child welfare professionals, with immediate applicability. Sample topics include practices that support positive youth development and ILP readiness; supporting youth to achieve permanency; understanding foster youth grief and loss; and working with LGBTQ youth. The training programs often incorporate our groundbreaking Digital Stories and traveling Museum.

Through Technical Assistance, we bring our youth leadership programming to other youth-serving organizations.

Our Approach

All of our work is grounded in the premise that youth are talented, capable and worthy of big love and respect. We help youth strengthen their skills and focus on positive behaviors and beliefs by giving them the opportunity to take leadership roles. As youth create and deliver training curricula, they learn to collaborate, provide input and receive feedback, and consistently meet high expectations. Perhaps most importantly, they experience the fulfillment of having their ideas matter.  Read more.