Dr. Andy Munoz, Leonard Burton, Ashley Carraro, and Jean Carpenter Williams

Dr. Andy Munoz, Leonard Burton, Ashley Carraro, and Jean Carpenter Williams

In August, more than 50 Brevard community members came together for the final of three Brevard Youth Thrive trainings. The training focused on enhancing healthy development and well-being for Brevard’s youth.

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) designed the Youth Thrive Framework: using Protective and Promotive Factors that focus on ways that youth can be supported to advance healthy development and well-being and reduce the impact of negative life experiences. In partnership with CSSP, The National Center for Innovation & Excellence (NCFIE) is 1 of 2 Youth Thrive pilot sites, along with the state of New Jersey.

Members of Brevard County School, Department of Juvenile Justice Probation, Guardian Ad Litem, Early Learning Coalition, Brevard Family Partnership, Brevard C.A.R.E.S., Paxen Community Connections, Crosswinds, Devereux, Impower, Brevard Behavioral Consultants, and local foster parents attended the 2-day long training to gain knowledge of adolescent development, cognitive and social/emotional competence, and how to promote youth resilience.

Jean Carpenter Williams, the Director of Training Development, National Resource Center for Youth Services, The University of Oklahoma Outreach, presented the Youth Thrive curriculum through a series of discussions, experimental activities and self-reflection exercises. Jean has worked extensively with residential programs across the country on improving the culture of care, reducing seclusion and restraint, and effectively implementing the Managing Aggressive Behavior (MAB) program. She and Frank Eckles, Past President of the National Child and Youth Care Certification Board, were contracted by the CSSP to develop their training curriculum for Trauma-Informed Care using the Youth Thrive protective factors as the foundation.

Leonard D. Burton, Senior Fellow with CSSP, also joined the Youth Thrive training session. Leonard plays a leadership role with CSSP’s Youth Thrive initiative and his primary role is to help build a “Community of Learning” with public agencies and provide support, thought leadership and technical assistance to partners. Leonard was “impressed by the breadth and depth of the implementation of training.” He also indicated that the volume of training participants demonstrates the strong commitment from community partners. Dr. Andy Munoz, also in attendance, is CSSP’s lead consultant supporting Brevard Youth Thrive who has been with the program since inception.

One of the many goals of the training was to disseminate useful information to parents, caregivers, and community members so that they will better understand how they-in their respective roles-can prioritize healthy development for young people to grow into successful, productive and caring members of society.