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The Core Competencies

Strong Directors, Skilled Staff image of DYCD Core Competencies Guide

The Center utilizes the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Core Competencies to guide the intentional development of all that we offer through the Center.


You may be familiar with other Core Competencies; both Philadelphia AND Pennsylvania actually have either created their own, or adopted national frameworks. If you were to Google Core Competencies for Youth Workers (and we did!) you'll get about 207,000 results! One of the most common frameworks is from the National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) and if you were to take a look at some of the other state or city developed competencies, you'll see they have about 90% of the same content. Often a state or city will add (as oppose to eliminate) one or two competencies to meet the needs of their specific state or local culture.


The Center has selected the DYCD framework because of their unique emphasis on BOTH youth workers AND supervisors of youth workers. We have heard from the field, including from direct service staff themselves and from funders, they wish supervisors were better skilled and prepared to support their staff to do their best work. There is a long- held belief that someone can't make a career in the field of youth development, that it is a starter job, a summer job, but to really move 'up' and making a living in this field is very difficult. We agree that it can be difficult, but we don't agree that this work has to be just a starter job and that it is possible to have longevity in the field. It requires all staff to have the right skills, knowledge and supports across the continuum of ones career.

If you're curious, below we've provided links to some of the most common Core Competencies Framework.

We also utilize the National Afterschool Association's Core Competencies for Afterschool Trainers to prepare & support the facilitators.

A Comparative Analysis of Competency Frameworks for Youth Workers in the Out-of-School Time Field, Vance, F. (2010)

Youth Work Core Competencies: A Review of Existing Frameworks and Purposes. Developed for School’s Out Washington by Betsy Starr, Nicole Yohalem and Ellen Gannett, Next Generation Youth Work Coalition (2009)

National Institute of Out-of-School Time (NIOST), Core Competencies for Afterschool & Youth Development Professionals

Washington State Core Competencies for Child and Youth Development Professionals, School's Out Washington

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