Our peer-reviewed series of issue briefs is designed to help people understand, connect and champion social and emotional learning in a variety of settings and from a variety of perspectives. The latest brief examines the relationship between youth program quality and the development of social and emotional skills. Bridging high quality youth program with social and emotional outcomes provides powerful potential for program improvement and impact.
The brief outlines the complementary and highly compatible nature of these two efforts in youth programs, and suggests that youth program quality assessments are often a good proxy for a program’s ability to provide environments and experiences where positive social and emotional skills and beliefs can be developed. Herman and Blyth argue that "the intersection of improving youth program quality and improving intentional learning of SEL skills positions youth programs as powerful places for youth to develop essential life skills. Now is the time to use continuous improvement processes to both improve youth program quality and intentionality around social and emotional skills and beliefs."