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Recruiting and Retaining Frontline Youth Development Workers

7/19/2006:   Studies have shown the critical link between youth outcomes and positive relationships between young people and skilled staff. But community-based organizations can have a tough time filling staff positions that work directly with youth when heavy workloads, long hours, and low pay often accompany the positions.

The National Collaboration for Youth (NYC) received funding from Cornerstones for Kids--a nonprofit organization formed in 2004 to house and manage the Human Services Workforce Initiative--to research and disseminate promising recruitment and retention strategies being used by NCY member organizations. Twenty interviews were conducted at local and national level organizations--most of them youth-serving organizations--revealing a range of effective strategies. The agencies interviewed represent 16,000 frontline youth workers at annual salaries between $14,500 and $31,500 who provide program services to more than 200,000 youth.

NYC has published the outcomes of these interviews in Capturing Promising Practices in Recruitment and Retention of Youth Workers and posted the report on the National Youth Development Information Center website.

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