The Incremental Strategy of Harm Reduction in Youth Work

bulletOnline Training

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Recorded on Thursday, August 9, 2018

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1.5 hour training

bulletFREE for YIPA members

bullet$30 for non-YIPA members

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Young people continually navigate a myriad of decisions and expectations. It can be tough for them to find their way, especially in potentially harmful situations. They may be faced with homelessness, challenges around drug use, unsafe sex practices, or unhealthy relationship risks. Many youth do not know how to avoid or escape harmful situations and circumstances, even if they want to.

As a youth worker, implementing harm reduction practices allows you to focus on their immediate needs and incremental solutions to best support them. The philosophy of harm reduction meets youth where they are with respect and without judgement and works with them to build step by step strategies toward positive change. The process of addressing smaller, more incremental barriers has the potential to increase trust and rapport between the youth and the worker, building capacity to address more difficult and complex barriers. Harm reduction strategies can be difficult to employ, but they are critical practices that every youth worker should have in their toolbox.

In this training you will learn how to effectively implement harm reduction in your interventions with youth. You’ll learn both the short and long-term effects of harm reduction strategies to support change over time. You’ll gain insight into the challenges you may face, including vicarious and first-hand trauma, as you work with youth through the stages of change. This is an emerging practice that all youth workers will benefit from. Join us for this important training.

Your Learning Objectives

  • Understand the positive short-term and long-term effects of harm reduction practices for youth
  • Identify the components that make harm reduction successful
  • Be aware of aspects of harm reduction that could be challenging to you
  • Learn how to articulate to young people and community partners how and why you use harm reduction practices

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Your Trainer

James Scott is the Senior Training Manager for StreetWorks, a collaborative of youth-serving agencies in the seven-county metro area and a program of Lutheran Social Services. Before joining StreetWorks, James worked for HCMC’s Inpatient Psychology Department and managed the shelter, transitional living, and outreach program for Hope Street in South Minneapolis. During his time with Hope Street, James worked as a street outreach case manager. Before his career working with youth experiencing homelessness, James worked for Sesame Street Live and was widely regarded as “a very good Cookie Monster.” James received a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Your Competency Focus Area


Each of YIPA’s trainings are designed around a broad framework of eight youth work competencies. The competency focus of this training is AT-RISK BEHAVIORS.

Trainings presented in this focus area will teach life-saving skills to identify the warning signs of unhealthy and risky behavior, understand risky behaviors based on a knowledge of adolescent brain development, and know when to report and refer.

Details

  • Online Training
  • Recorded on Thursday, August 9, 2018
  • 1.5 hour training
  • FREE for YIPA members
  • $30 for non-YIPA members. Not a member? Annual memberships are only $99 for individuals and only $250 for organizations. Join now or learn more.

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This training will count as 1.5 CE hours for most boards. Please contact your board directly with questions about submitting. You can print or save this training information as a PDF for your records.