Since 2003, the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s (CSSP) Strengthening FamiliesTM Protective Factors Framework has helped professionals understand a strengths-based approach to developing potential in families. This evidence-informed framework has helped define the field of prevention. In 2011, CSSP adapted the framework to focus on the well-being of adolescents, and named this framework Youth Thrive™.

Youth Thrive™ is a framework and initiative designed to promote the healthy development and well-being of young people ages 9 – 26, with a special emphasis on those who have been most marginalized by society.  By learning about the framework, professionals who work with pre-teens, teens, and young adults learn tools and strategies to support youth success.  

In February, the Department of Child Safety (DCS) funded a Youth Thrive™ Training of Trainers, which supported 18 people to become certified to teach the framework. Attendees included Prevent Child Abuse Arizona’s Training Coordinator, Simone Tavassoli, and individuals from Foster Arizona, DCS, and a local group home. As strived for with every Youth Thrive training, one of the trainers was an adult with lived experience in foster care. Both trainers prompted attendees to consider Arizona foster kids’ unique needs and how to adapt the Youth Thrive™ curriculum to meet those needs.

When asked about the most valuable part of the training, Simone recalled the solutions-oriented conversations that arose from the other attendees. “The Youth Thrive training was engaging and provided a really unique opportunity to connect with other child welfare professionals. The framework makes it so clear how important youth voice is in improving our support for young people and families.” Simone hopes that with the 18 newly certified trainers, understanding of the Youth Thrive™ Framework will spread across Arizona.

Each Youth Thrive™ training is designed to be two full days in-person. A brief 1-hour introduction can also be offered. If you are interested in hosting a Youth Thrive training, please contact Megan Conrad of DCS to learn more and discuss options.