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Series of skills-based workshops!

Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™ 

teaches you how to be the best possible adult ally to

youth and young adults (16-26yrs).

Youth workers & Adult allies get ready to amp up the way you engage and prepare youth and young adults to participate in care plans and advocacy events…

safely and effectively!! 

TIYE Workshops

Workshop 1

Embracing Limitations and Increasing Hope

In this lesson, you will learn the 5 qualities of transformational relationships that lead to authentic young/adult engagement. The best way for adult allies to engage youth and young adults is through authentic, trusted relationships. Sometimes, we have a hard time making those critical connections that lead to transformation. We’ll tap into your own personal strengths to identify your own transformational qualities. Then, we’ll explore external and internal barriers that get in the way of us using our strengths to make authentic connections. Then, we’re going to use the barriers to create individual innovative engagement strategies. It is through transformational relationships, that keeps the hope alive for youth and young adults. By the end of this lesson, you will feel energized to start using your new engagement strategies. You will leave hopeful about your ability to engage youth despite the challenges we face today by transforming into the best ally for youth.


Workshop 2

Ask More, Tell Less

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to increase youth success by simply asking trauma-informed questions. We’ve been taught to share what we know with the next generation, which is great, unless the person we’re trying to help has a trauma background. Then we have to shift our approach to listening more than talking. Of course, that’s easier said than done. So join us and we’ll learn together a unique approach combining SAMHSA’s 6 trauma-informed principles with the 5 principles of Appreciative Inquiry. You’ll see how combining these principles led to the creation of the Trauma-Informed Asking Questions to Outcomes (TAQOs) guide and worksheet. You’ll learn how to use these tools which provide practical and effective guidance to ask questions to uncover trauma-based fears and find solutions to create safe learning conditions. Rather than telling youth/young adults how to reach their goals, you’ll ask, listen more, and develop a plan. By the end of this lesson, you’ll have new ways to engage with youth, increase motivation, and buy-in to help them reach their goals.


Workshop 3

Effective Youth Participation Without Tokenism

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to eliminate tokenism and to engage youth/young adults in active and authentic involvement. Without knowing it, we can unintentionally tokenize youth/young adults, and it happens more than you realize. In fact, the more we involve youth and young adults in events and activities, we exponentially increase the risk of tokenism. We’ll learn from Hart’s Ladder of Youth Participation best practice approaches to the various types and levels of authentic participation. You will be actively engaged in reviewing and reacting to real life youth-involved scenarios to practice your skills in understanding Hart’s Ladder. This lesson will deepen your ability to apply the best possible and most appropriate level of participation to your own youth-/young adult-involved councils, boards, panels, or committees. By the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to identify and guard against hidden tokenism, decoration, and manipulation and engage youth/young adults in active and effective levels of participation.


Workshop 4

Using Social Learning to Empower Youth

In this lesson, you will learn how to easily apply social learning to empower youth to reach their goals. When we try to empower youth to achieve their aspirational goals, we must find the right starting point. There are many factors that go into how we learn (social learning theory) and how it affects our belief in ourselves that we can accomplish anything (self-efficacy). First, we’ll get to a good understanding of social learning theory and self-efficacy and why it’s essential in new skill development. Then you’ll learn to use two new tools, the self-efficacy booster guide and action planner. These tools will help you assess current skills and identify gaps. You’ll learn how to create a solid plan of action with youth/young adults that will lead to improved self-efficacy. At the end of this lesson, you will feel confident in your ability to empower youth/young adults to reach their full potential by applying social learning principles.


Workshop 5

Optimizing Youth Voice

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to optimize youth voice through an essential benefits and risk analysis. Active participation and sharing lived experience pose many risks to youth/young adults and to the agency. Having youth voice is critical to shaping the way that services and supports are delivered, but protecting against unintended consequences is just as important. You can be the one to assure that youth/young adults do not suffer as a result of sharing their lived experiences and perspectives in public. We’ll learn how to conduct a benefits/risk analysis and practice together in class. Then you’ll be able to identify ways to improve benefits and lower risk. You’ll leave this training, able to conduct a benefit/risk analysis for any youth-/young adult-involved event or activity so that you can optimize benefits and assure the utmost safety for each participant.


Workshop 6

Preparing and Supporting Youth Advocates

In this lesson, we’ll be focusing on making you the best adult ally to prepare and support youth to become highly effective advocates. You’ll learn about the Trauma-Informed Methods of Engagement™ for youth advocacy model. We’ll start learning about ways to set yourself up for success as a trusted adult ally with clear roles and responsibilities. Next, we’ll dig in deep to find ways (training, strategic sharing, logistical details, audience awareness, messaging) to properly prepare youth/young adults ahead of time for involvement in events/activities. We’ll cover the types of support you can give to youth and young adults during events/activities. Then you’ll learn ways to engage in meaningful reflection by debriefing with youth/young adults for personal and professional growth. Lastly, we’ll review unintended consequences of Y/YA involvement to minimize the chance of re-traumatization. You’ll leave this training, ready to engage youth and young adults to be the best advocates for themselves and for systems change.

Why enroll in Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™ Workshop Series?

In this Youth Engagement Series, you’ll learn how to:

  • Engage youth/young adults (Y/YAs) by transforming into the best ally

  • Empower Y/YAs to reach their full potential by applying social learning

  • Increase youth success in achieving their goals by using trauma-informed principles

  • Identify hidden tokenism and build effective youth participation

  • Create safe/brave spaces for youth to learn and grow

  • Prepare and support youth to become highly effective advocates

Who is this training for?
  • Youth/family coordinators

  • Independent living coordinators

  • Supervisors

  • Mental health clinicians

  • Direct care staff and youth practitioners

  • Peer specialists 

  • Family and young adult advocates 

  • Program managers 

  • Adult Allies who recruit and prepare Y/YA advocates

Any staff who are responsible for engaging, preparing, and supporting youth and young adults to actively participate in their care planning, advocacy events, youth speaking panels, groups, activities… and supervisors of those staff members.

Why should you participate in Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™ Workshops?

Over the last 30 years, I've talked to Y/YAs and Supportive adults from across the country who shared stories from the field about both successful and traumatic experiences of doing system change advocacy work. 

From the novice to the most trained and supported advocate, the practice of sharing lived experience publicly resulted in unintended negative consequences like re-experiencing feelings of fear, hopelessness, defeat, as well as flashbacks and in some cases, relapse.

You may have difficulty encouraging YAs to be advocates or to be leaders in their own care planning. You may have trouble with consistent attendance or interest in Y/YAs leading their care plan team or staying motivated to reach their goals. But you still want to support their success in any way you can.

This is why I created this training… to address your need as supportive adults (SAs) effectively engage, prepare, and support TAYs to safely sit on or lead meetings, committees, boards, panels, etc. through a trauma-informed lens.

We all know that having youth voices represented in care planning and at advocacy events is one of the most important ingredients for changing the way systems respond to the needs and desires of the youth and young adults. 

It is critical to apply trauma-informed principles, given the effects that trauma can have on Y/YAs when sharing their lived experience in a public setting or in care plans.

Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™ participants who completed the training highly recommended their colleagues attend. Several communities have continued the learning through group consultation following the training.

Many participants reported decreased negative experiences, less tokenism, and higher levels of youth/young adult participation.


They experienced less stress, and devoted time and energy to strategies that work… not hurt. And I’d like to share some other positive takeaways from past students. Here are just a few of their takeaways from our Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™... 

What is the investment?

Trauma-Informed Youth Engagement™ is a Series for youth workers/adult allies with 6 incredible stand-alone workshops.


Registration is $697 per student for the entire 6-part series, a savings of $185!!

The training is designed to be experienced online and virtual in the comfort of your own home or office.  

Because this is an intensive training with lots of interactive content and breakout room activities, the seats for any particular session are limited.

What Clients Say

“The training is a must for direct service and leadership staff who work with transition-age youth!!! Better engagement improved outcomes!”


Silver Linings
Academy Program

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Supervisor Program

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Appreciative Inquiry
Summits & Workgroups

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Silver Linings
Consultation | Coaching

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