Commit to Quality Youth Development Practice

YDRC Network Meetings

The YDRC offers free monthly meetings open to all youth development professionals who are interested in networking with their peers, connecting with local resources, and learning how to improve program quality.


Professional Development Workshops and Summits

The YRDC hosts summits and workshops throughout the year focusing on professional skill-building and quality improvement training. Open to all youth development professionals.

Introduction to the Active-Participatory Approach

10/03/2023 10:00 am - 10/03/2023 12:00 pm


YDRC launched Discover Your Spark to highlight the importance of year-round, out-of-school-time resources and help parents and caregivers connect to local programs. Through, parents can search for afterschool and summer programs across Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Email to be added to the Program Finder!

Please share and this flyer with parents looking for quality youth programs.

Discover Your Spark is promoted to families in Detroit thanks to generous support from the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Quality Standards for Youth Development Programs

The YDRC, alongside a network of Detroit youth and youth development professionals, developed common quality standards based on best practices and the voices of youth and program providers. Youth-serving organizations in the Detroit area are using these quality standards for continuous program improvement, creating goals for high-quality youth development programs across the provider network. This resource includes:

  • 5 Ways to Use the Program Standards to improve program quality
  • Program Quality Practices from building a safe environment to developing positive relationships
  • Management Practices from intentional program design to championing diversity and inclusion
  • Program Improvement Plan worksheet for provider’s internal use



Our monthly newsletter provides the most current information on events, summits and opportunities for youth development professionals.

Measure and Demonstrate Quality and Impact

Acting with Data is the YDRC’s signature learning community designed to help youth development teams reach the highest level of quality and impact for the youth they serve. Program teams receive training in a suite of best-in-class shared measurement tools including the Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) and Holistic Student Assessment. Program staff learn to assess, plan and improve their programs through training from their youth development professional peers and expert coaches.

There is one Acting with Data cohort, with six Peer Learning Pods.

Peer Learning Pods include:

  • Creative Arts
  • College Access and Success
  • Early Learners
  • Sports
  • STEM
  • Workforce Development

Deepen Youth and Adult Skills

The YDRC invites providers to refine or improve specific areas of their youth development practice. These opportunities are available by invitation only.

Acting with Data

Acting with Data is an opportunity to engage in a process of continuous quality improvement with the goal of enhancing the experience of youth and the skills of those who work with youth. This multi-level intervention combines training and assessment, is informed by theory, and is supported by field research. Our team supports managers and staff to align their program management and instructional practices with a positive youth development model (Source: The Forum For Youth Investment).

Within the Acting with Data Learning Community, organizations collect data that is relevant to their programming while building community, learning, and growing with their peers. Participants have access to aligned training and technical assistance supports, one-on-one improvement coaching, and a variety of assessment tools, including program quality and social-emotional learning practice assessments, attendance tracking, and youth outcomes surveys.

Data Tracks: Program Quality and SEL

Acting with Data provides organizations with opportunities and agency in their continuous quality improvement efforts. We offer two main data tracks:

  1. Youth Program Quality: The Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) is a foundational data and improvement tool for positive youth development programs.
  2. Social Emotional Learning Program Quality: The Social Emotional Learning Program Quality Assessment (SELPQA) enables organizations to go deeper in assessing and planning for improvement in areas such as empathy and emotion coaching.