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Goal:

To insure that the after-school workforce has the capacity and capability needed to deliver high-quality services to all children and youth who want and need them.

Rationale:

Although after-school is one of the fastest growing educational sectors in many cities, most citywide systems do not have comprehensive strategies in place to recruit, train and support a qualified and diverse workforce. Publicly funded programs spend the greatest proportion of their funding on staff salaries, but they receive limited public funding for staff development.

After-school systems must have effective strategies to insure that programs can hire a sufficient supply of qualified staff at all levels – volunteers, front line staff, site coordinators, and organization leadership. This is important because research demonstrates that positive staff-child relationships are a primary factor in achieving the best possible outcomes for children and adolescents. The after-school workforce employs staff of all ages with varying levels of work experience and education, from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. These primarily part-time workers need sufficient training on the skills required to work effectively with children and youth.

Strategy:

As there are already several projects underway that focus on workforce development, CBASS will begin by reviewing efforts from the field in the following areas:

  • Finding ways to increase the salary and benefits of after-school staff
  • Developing training to achieve desired youth outcomes
  • Developing evaluation strategies which demonstrate the impact of trainings
  • Establishing core competencies for the after-school workforce

CBASS partners will contribute to the work underway in the field by piloting staffing practices in their cities that will:

  • Increase the diversity of after-school leadership
  • Retain graduates of after-school programs in the after-school workforce
  • Utilize CBASS partner-created professional development models which train across all after-school staff levels, from entry level to leadership

Partners will then quantify the costs associated with these efforts, and formulate strategies to encourage public investment in similar efforts.