Is There Common Ground? An Exploratory Study of the Interests and Needs of Community-Based and Faith-Based Youth Workers

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National Collaboration for Youth/Search Institute

Youth workers from community-based youth development settings and faith-based settings agree that it is essential that they involve youth in programming and develop positive relationships with youth. But while both groups play significant roles in young people’s lives, they generally have distinct professional development systems and opportunities, and, it appears, some distinct priorities for their work.

For example, roughly 85 percent of all youth workers surveyed indicate that “building positive relationships and communicating with youth” is “essential” to their work. However, while 77 percent of faith-based youth workers say it is essential to help young people grow spiritually, only 14 percent of community-based workers agree.

Based on a series of focus groups, two Web-based surveys of youth workers and a two-day consultation with national youth work leaders, the report offers insights regarding programming priorities, professional development needs and perspectives on collaboration, as well as recommendations for next steps in building common ground. Free. 48 pages. (202) 347-2080, Available in various formats online at