The work of youth service professionals is cross-disciplinary, requiring knowledge and skills that cut across the fields of workforce development, youth development, education, counseling, and disability services. As a result, programs of study and existing professional certifications in any one of these fields can equip youth service professionals with some, but not all of the competencies they need to be effective. For this reason, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive career pathway and professional development system that specifically addresses the training needs of our nation’s youth service professionals.
This tool allows organizations and systems to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of youth service professionals and to create a professional development agenda based on that assessment. This assessment, which can be used as an organizational development tool or as part of a system-wide professional development strategy, includes questions to help organizations and systems put in place the components necessary for an effective professional development system that strengthens the KSAs of youth service practitioners.