The trainings below are grouped into the five categories named by researchers as fundamental to healthy growth in adolescents. These "protective and promotive factors"   — so called because they either protect young people from risk or promote already-existing strengths — are: 1) resilience; 2) social connections; 3) cognitive and social/emotional competence; 4) knowledge of healthy child and adolescent development; and 5) concrete support in times of need. 

All the trainings are available in-person, and some also can be accessed as live or on-demand webinars.  Each one can be customized to the interests and goals of particular audiences.


Stress: Too Much, Too Little,
and The Resilience Sweet Spot

One out of five children report worrying "a great deal" or "a lot," and millennials are more likely than any other age group to be told they have an anxiety disorder or depression.  While research tells us conclusively that too much stress harms overall health and the brain’s developing architecture, learning how to handle appropriate stress is a healthy and normal part of development. Children who haven’t had practice regulating their stress response or taking responsibility for their actions can become more anxious and risk-averse. By overprotecting them, we inadvertently make them more vulnerable. Using warmth, stories, science, and humor, Erin Walsh will explain the impact of stress on the brain and share practical strategies for raising resilient children.

For: Parents and caregivers
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar

Right Response© for Parents


This training is intended for parents and caregivers who seek to keep the peace at home. Right Response© is an evidence-based approach for de-escalation, prevention, and intervention that supports positive, healthy behavior in child and youth. Specifically, participants learn techniques that enable them to remain in control during stressful situations, support their young person despite their challenging behaviors, and avoid common triggers that often make the situation worse.

For: Parents and caregivers
Length: Half- or full-day
Format: In-person or webinar(s)



Why Do They Act That Way?
A Guide to the Adolescent Brain

Adolescence is a unique developmental stage, often described as a "normally abnormal stage of life." This workshop based on Dr. Dave Walsh’s bestselling book Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain, explains exactly what happens to the adolescent brain on the path from childhood into adulthood. Revealing the latest scientific findings in easy-to-understand terms, participants learn why moodiness, risk-taking, and miscommunication are so common in teens.  The presenter then shares three ingredients for working with adolescents in ways that build on their strengths and gives them the support they need to grow into competent and caring adults.  This training can be customized to explore alcohol and drugs, sleep and exercise, stress and trauma, and digital media.

For:  Parents and caregivers, educators, law enforcement personnel, youth workers, social workers, and volunteers
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar


Many people assume that trauma comes from big events, such as natural disaster or violence, but every day across America young people are exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as domestic violence and separation of parents from divorce or incarceration.  Unaddressed ACEs can have negative effects on child and adolescent development, health and well-being into adulthood. By redirecting our perspective from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What’s happened to you?”, we can reframe our response to young people's behavior and focus on building the cognitive and social emotional competencies that will help young people navigate these experiences.  

For: Educators, child and youth workers, youth-serving staff, parents and caregivers
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar

Parents in Focus: Training of Facilitators (ToF)

This ToF is provided to a local team of facilitators to strengthen parent/caregiver capacity to support their adolescents. Parent workshops cover topics such as: healthy communication; social, emotional, and behavioral competence; developmental stages and associated behavior; support systems and coping strategies; and daily challenges and stressors that impact family life. This ToF includes the following elements:

  • Parent/Caregiver Workshops: Drawn from PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families parent engagement curriculum, this series includes 2-4 workshops, for 1.5 hours each. Customized to your local setting, community parents and caregivers are provided these workshops by trained, area clinicians and therapists.

  • Training of Facilitators: On-site training in how to implement the parent workshop series is provided to a diverse team of qualified professionals, convened for 2 four-hour in-person training sessions on site; with subsequent online coaching and webinars. Participants receive a Parents in Focus training certificate.

  • Practical Tools and Resources: Support resources for both the training team and participating parents/caregivers are included.

  • Evaluation Support: Pre- and post-workshop assessments and data analysis.

  • Logistics Support: Details are shared about successful implementation at other sites, including how to support parent participation, timing, staffing, and facility logistics.

For: Clinicians and trainers
Length: 10-15 hours
Format: In-person with follow-up webinars


Engaging in Self-Care: practical steps

Young people are best supported by child and youth care professionals, parents, teachers, and other adults who understand and recognize the importance of self-awareness and self-care in their own professional practice. Self-care is considered essential, which is why it appears in the Standards for Practice of North American Child and Youth Care Professionals (2017), as well as other codes of ethics for adults working with young people. In this training, we will briefly explore the benefits of self-care from a scientific perspective, then experience a variety of self-care practices that are easy to implement during the work day. 

For: Educators, youth workers, social workers, law enforcement personnel, parents and guardians, and foster parents
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar





IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF Mentoring Relationships

Young people benefit from mentoring if it's done right; if it's not, mentoring doesn't help at all, and may even hurt. What are the hallmarks of quality in mentoring relationships? This workshop focuses on the knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors that create excellent mentors and lead directly to productive, life-enhancing outcomes for youth. Participants will leave with concrete strategies to improve their mentoring relationships.

For: Youth-serving program professionals
Format:  Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar

Understanding Teen Dating Violence and Supporting Healthy Relationships

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In 2017, 7% of high school students experienced sexual dating violence and 8% were physically abused by someone they dated. That equals almost 300,000 teens. Youth work professionals have a unique window into the intimate relationships of teens and many opportunities to promote healthy partnerships. In this training, we will explore the factors that may create unequal power in adolescent relationships, learn to recognize warning signs of abuse, develop the language and confidence to discuss this issue with adolescents, and describe resources are available for you and the young people you work with.

For: Youth workers, educators, child welfare workers, juvenile justice staff, parents and guardians
Format:  Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar

It’s Complicated: teens, Social Media, & Mental Health

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 Young people today spend an average of 53 hours a week with entertainment and social media, more than any other activity but sleeping. Digital technologies simultaneously unleash incredible opportunities and pose a new set of challenges for children and youth. In this interactive and energizing presentation, Erin Walsh uses brain science, stories, and humor to explain how technology is changing the ways that students grow up, socialize, and forge their identities. Professionals and parents will leave understanding the key ingredients for wellness in the digital age and provide practical tools and strategies for helping teens maximize benefits and minimize risks of technology.

For: Youth workers, educators, parents, and guardians
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar




From ‘101 YOUTH VOICES,’ a needs assessment project in Newport, VT.

From ‘101 YOUTH VOICES,’ a needs assessment project in Newport, VT.

Every community has dozens or even hundreds of resources for youth and their families, some obvious and well-known, others nearly invisible. Do young people in your community know anything about them?  They should! And the very best way to educate them is by recruiting them to participate in asset-mapping projects that focus on resources and services that interest to them. Youth-driven mapping is a particularly compelling add-on for programs working with teens; with adult help, young people can gather information through personal interviews, prepare it for posting, and upload entries to a customized map that other teens can view. Learn about the process in this energizing training.

For: Youth workers, afterschool staff, and educators.
Format:  Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar

Linking Teens to Youth-Friendly Healthcare

Healthcare is not one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to adolescents.  Youth-friendly providers plan their care to meet adolescent-specific needs and want to be inviting and responsive to young women and young men.  Adolescent-friendly providers are scrupulous about respecting confidentiality; include reproductive health care in their services; and create enduring relationships with youth. Many professionals, including youth workers and teachers, can work together with teens to help find providers that truly welcome them and know how to work with them effectively. In this training, participants will learn to assess health care providers for youth-friendly competence.

For: Youth workers, educators and other school staff, social workers, and other adults who work with young people
Format:  Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar


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No matter what you see in the media, youth consistently report that they look to trusted adults for support. Working with young people requires that we also engage their families or families of choice. Yet many families resist engaging with professionals in youth service systems, often for very good reasons. This dynamic training explores how we can use Youth Thrive and the protective and promotive factors framework to help families fully engage in the work of creating positive change for their young person and family as a whole. This training includes a ‘live’ activity for the audience.

For: Educators, law enforcement personnel, youth workers, social workers, and volunteers.
Format: Half- or full-day in-person training; 90-minute webinar