Academy for Competent Youth Work was formed in 2001 to promote the improvement of services for children and youth by developing and providing community training and education services that promote quality child and youth care practices; and researching professional practices of child and youth care practitioners. In order to accomplish its mission, the Academy disseminates curricula, instructors and training materials; promotes training for ongoing vocational and professional development; provides technical assistance; and conducts research to determine training impact and outcomes. Located in Texas, the Academy has become one of the most innovative certification programs for child and youth care workers in the United States. To date, over 600 practitioners have become certified. Certification is rapidly becoming a viable tool for assessing practitioner competence and establishing a life-long career path.
Bolster Collaborative is a division of Vision Training Associates, Inc. Founded in 2013, Bolster Collaborative builds on over a decade of history in positive youth development, and twelve years of coordinating training and speaking events for the Search Institute. Bolster Collaborative’s work is steeped in that history and continues a commitment to the Developmental Asset® framework as a central element of their approach. The Collaborative offers high-quality resources based on the latest social science on Developmental Assets, positive youth development, and related science. The organization strives to engage and support an ever-growing number of professionals, volunteers, community members, and parents as collaborators in improving organizations and communities for young people.
We are a private, not-for-profit organization that works to support and advance child and youth services in communities across the United States. Through professional development and research, we strengthen social services, promote best practices and respond to emerging issues that directly impact the lives of young people and their families. We are highly intentional about how we invest our time, energy and financial resources, undertaking projects that haven’t received adequate attention elsewhere and that can result in replicable models for change. Originally established in 1981 to provide training and support to child and youth service programs, the organization has expanded to work with multi-service agencies, schools, communities, state systems, universities and foundations. Today, our interest and expertise also extend to many different subpopulations: at-risk and high-risk youth, pregnant and parenting teens, children and teens in out-of-home care, sexual minority youth, and children and youth marginalized by poverty.