Innovation

YAP often adds interventions to our core services to better meet the needs of young people and families served. For example, we might include evidence-based interventions such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy when we work with young people with trauma histories; or we may use Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations with justice-involved youth; or Strengthening Families to support parents in the child welfare system. We decide which interventions to add to our programming in partnership with the local community stakeholders.

YAP has also developed interventions that supplement our core services. Innovations like Supported Work, YAPWorx and Street Soccer help participants build their skills and connect them to economic opportunities.

 

WORK

Supported Work

Connecting youth with meaningful vocational training and employment is critical to long-term positive outcomes. YAP's Supported work intervention provides participants with opportunities to develop job skills and positive work habits through transitional job experience that may lead to long-term employment. YAP Supported Work participants are classified as work-training or work-relief trainees, not employees, and their wages are subsidized by YAP. Along with the support of YAP Advocates, these subsidies encourage employers to offer apprentice-like positions to YAP clients who may otherwise face insurmountable obstacles to landing a job because of their background, life circumstances, or developmental challenges.

 
 
 

YAPWorx: Workforce Development for Youth with Complex Needs

 

Connecting to the world of work is a challenge most youth overcome, often with just a little help. Unfortunately, many of the participants we serve are disconnected from the people and experiences that would otherwise help them make this important connection and develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for long-term labor market success. Disconnected young people have lower rates of labor force participation and fewer opportunities to discover their own unique contribution to the world of work. YAP Advocates expose youth to specific career pathways, service opportunities and skill building opportunities. They also help to “spark” youth investments in education, skills training, and pursuing positive lifestyles by showing them how it relates to future economic self-sufficiency.

YAP’s Workforce Development Model is developed on a Positive Youth Justice (PYJ) framework. It’s a bit of a departure from traditional Workforce Development approaches in that it can be used 1:1 or in groups; it can be individualized to meet the specific needs of each youth; and it can be delivered in a classroom, living room, kitchen table, front stoop or park bench. Advocates don’t wait for youth to show up; they are “feet in the street” and meet with youth where they are, building a trust relationship through their relentless outreach and responsiveness to the youth’s needs and preferences. These attributes help to engage those youth who otherwise may not succeed in more traditional workforce development programs.

 
 
 
Other Interventions

SOCCER

Street Soccer

 

Guided by the principles of respect, cooperation and solidarity, the street soccer movement is active in 50 countries and uses soccer to teach mediation and peace-building skills to young people living in vulnerable situations, particularly gang-affiliated youth.

Because of soccer’s international popularity, the sport can be an effective tool of social inclusion. Street soccer teaches young people how to make important decisions, cultivates leadership and promotes collaboration with others.

The street soccer movement aims to defend the rights of children, encourages positive youth development and promotes a culture of peace.