This session is part of a series of six classes focused on cutting-edge topics in understanding, supporting and working with adolescents. Participants are welcome to attend any one or more sessions in the series, and need no prior background on adolescence. Each session is described below.

Session 1—Cognitive, Psychological and Brain Development in Teens: Facts and Implications for Child Welfare Services:  Adults and adolescents think very differently and this course explains how adults can use those differences to help youth interact with an ever more complex world. The impacts of sleep, tobacco, alcohol and food on brain and cognitive development are highlighted. 

Session 2—Understanding and Promoting Healthy Adolescent Relationships with Peers, Caregivers and Others: This class centers on helping youth build, enhance and maintain healthy relationships with others using respectful communication. Warning signs of troubled relationships and the role of social media and online gaming are highlighted.

Session 3—Improving Teens’ Personal and Community Connections: Youth in substitute care often struggle with personal and community relationships. This class helps offer tools to help youth build new connections.

Session 4—Creating Permanency Plans that Work for Teens and Caregivers: This session identifies the key elements of permanency plans that have proven to be effective with youth in care.

Session 5—Creating Permanent Supportive Housing Models for Youth: Helping youth transition into safe, affordable and stable housing can be one of the greatest challenges for leaders and caseworkers. This class tackles the key issues in exploring housing options and offers cutting edge tools and resources that may help.

Session 6—Right Use of Power: Ethics in the Changing World of Youth Services: This class focuses on relationships between professionals, family members and youth while youth are in care. Power dynamics and communication styles are highlighted.  

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