Youth programs play an integral role in fostering positive youth development; therefore, it is important to ensure the youth program staff are well-trained to deliver high-quality programming. Professional development of youth program staff often includes training on the diversity among youth and their families as well as within their communities. However, a review of the literature on youth program staff professional development indicated very few training programs that teach staff how to integrate the cultural assets, beliefs, and values of youth and their families. Recent literature has suggested that education on diversity and equality is not sufficient to yield culturally responsive and humble direct service providers, such as youth program staff. This paper reviews the importance of culture in positive youth development, youth programs, and professional development of staff. Recommendations on how best to integrate cultural responsiveness and humility in professional development of youth program staff is discussed.
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- Cultural responsiveness
- Professional development
- Youth program staff
- Youth programs