Professional Development for youth workers from home


Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital

Youth Mental Health First Aid — Tuesday, September 29 from 1:00 to 5:00 via distance learning

Youth Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces the risk factors and warning signs of mental health illnesses and substance use disorders in youth, builds understanding of their impact, and reviews common support options. This virtual course uses videos and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis, and to connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-care help.

This course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents ages 12–18, including teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, or anyone interested in increasing their mental health literacy about youth.

Please note, this class may be too basic for those who work in mental health services.

Register by Thursday September 17 at:  or by email:

View a flyer here.

University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development

New offering!

Youth Work in the time of Covid19:  How to Rethink Your Program Design — September 30, 1PM – 2PM via Zoom

This program is $10 per person.  Register at:

Youth Programs can be powerful spaces for young people in our communities, now more than ever. However, with school closures, staff changes and changing resources, so much of our youth programming plans are up in the air. It can feel overwhelming to decide how to best show up for our young people during COVID-19. In this online conversation, we’ll dive into a planning guide focused on youth work values and concepts that can help shape we rethink program design by:

1) returning to our core youth work purpose and expand multiple roles we could play during this pandemic, and

2) re-envisioning our approach to youth work programming to meet the changing needs of young people.

Registration includes access to a planning guide and a curated set of reports, resources and templates in Google Drive to download.

Facilitated by: Deborah Moore + Colin Peters, University of Minnesota Youth Work Learning Lab in the School of Social Work

For more information – contact Deborah Moore, Director – Youth Work Learning Lab at

Extension is offering a number of ongoing learning opportunities — free and online — for youth workers during the pandemic.

  • Learn about foundational research and theories of positive youth development in Youth Work Matters.
  • Gain practical resources for incorporating reflection and discussion of dilemmas in your work with Dilemmas in Youth Work.
  • Explore a research framework, Rings of Engagement, which outlines four types of youth engagement and youth-adult partnerships in Youth Engagement Matters.

Itasca Area Community Education

Community Ed has been working to put more classes online for you to enjoy.  Check out their YouTube channel for their offerings:


Tools you can use.

Planning Guide for Refocusing how you support young people during COVID-19 

From the University of Minnesota’s Youth Work Learning Lab comes this resource to guide you in a redesign of what you do to support young people at this time.

You can find additional resources that accompany the resource guide in this google drive.

From Itasca County 4-H 

4-H has developed online classes for all.  Please share these opportunities with your young people, or incorporate them into your face-to-face programs.  Follow this link to see what’s available:  

Summer learning guidelines 

From Minnesota Department of Health:

MDH has developed guidelines for organizations planning face to face programming this summer.  You will find it on MDH’s COVID page and at this link:

MDE hosted a webinar reviewing the requirements.  You will find that webinar recording here.

From Minnesota Community Education Association:

As you plan for the possibility of offering in person programming, make use of the COVID-19 Programming Response & Preparedness Plan.–fTbsFX3wQiCxFLMfW1EKCSaTuuMBBoPss8/edit

From the University of Minnesota Youth Development:

For your work in youth development 

From University of Minnesota Youth Development — Tips for Working with youth from a distance:

From Search Institute — Now more than ever we need to build strong relationships with young people.  Follow this link to view a TED talk and download an interview tool to engage young people using the 4 s’.

  • Sparks: Talents, deep interests, and activities that bring enjoyment and meaning to life
  • Strengths: Skills, behaviors, attitudes, and values that promote success and development
  • Struggles: Problems that cause concern and potentially undermine success and development
  • Supports: People and programs that nurture sparks, build on strengths, and reduce struggles

Also from Search InstituteRelationship Check tool.

From the Harvard School of Graduate Education comes At Home with Project Zero.  This resource is filled with engaging activities for young people of all ages.  Check it out:

To better take care of yourself

This is a stressful time and you need to take care of yourself if you are going to be able to serve young people.

COVID-19 Resources from the Afterschool Field


Minnesota Resources

National Partners

Itasca County 


Public Health


Economic Development


Minnesota State Health Department and CDC