Four Core Principles
The NRCYD bases its technical assistance and training around four core principles:
Youth DevelopmentA process which prepares young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences which help them to become socially, morally, emotionally, physically, and cognitively competent. Positive youth development addresses the broader developmental needs of youth, in contrast to deficit-based models which focus solely on youth problems (National Collaboration of Youth Members).
CollaborationThe process by which several agencies or organizations make a formal, sustained commitment to work together to accomplish a common mission (The Community Collaboration Manual, National Assembly of National Voluntary Health and Social Welfare Organizations).
Cultural CompetenceCulture is different in race, ethnicity, nationality, religion/spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical ability, language, beliefs, values, behavior patterns, or customs among various groups within a community, organization, or nation (A guide to enhancing cultural competency of runaway and homeless youth programs, HHS, ACF, ACYF). Gaining cultural competence is a long-term process of expanding horizons, thinking critically about the issues of power and oppression, and acting appropriately. Culturally competent individuals have a mixture of beliefs and attitudes, knowledge, and skills that help them establish trust and communicate with others (Advocates for Youth).
Permanent ConnectionsPositive relationships that are intended to last a life-time. They may be either formal (adoption or reunification with family), or informal in nature (mentors or peer support groups). Very often these relationships are identified by the youth (National Resource Center for Youth Services).