Delaware Center for Youth Development

The Center is a community-based program striving to empower, educate, and address neighborhood priorities through professional development. The Delaware Center for Youth Development (DCYD) works with local nonprofits, community leaders, schools, and businesses to identify those needs and priorities in the community. Since 2006, the DCYD has worked with over 60 community organizations and 3,805 participants to provide over 721 hours of professional development in areas such as effective communication, teamwork, power, accountability, conflict resolution, and positive youth development. Recently, the issues related to poverty have become a focal point of the work at Children's Beach House (CBH). DCYD has been working with other organizations to address issues of poverty.

The Center is now a certified Bridges Out of Poverty training site. Bridges research from Ruby K. Payne, PhD., and Phillip DeVol provides strategies for professionals and communities to work effectively with and support impoverished populations. The DCYD regards professional development as a knowledge-building learning community. Such communities not only develop shared understandings collaboratively, but also create empathetic learning environments that value diversity and multiple perspectives.

The DCYD strengthens children, youth, families, and communities by promoting the Positive Youth Development theory through training of research-based models and best practices initiatives for staff of Delaware's agencies serving at-risk or special needs youth.

The Positive Youth Development approach suggests that helping young people to achieve their full potential is the best way to prevent them from engaging in risky behaviors. Organizations and communities that promote Positive Youth Development give youth the chance to exercise leadership, build skills, and get involved. The self-confidence, trust, and practical knowledge that young people gain from these opportunities help them grow into healthy, happy, self-sufficient adults.