What It Means:
Programs create a safe and adaptive environment which recognizes that culture, family and personal history is core to a young person’s identity formation.
Why It Matters:
Programs that provide young people with an opportunity to explore their identity within the context of their own culture as well as others deepen young people’s sense of self-esteem and increase their openness and understanding toward all people.
What Effective Practices Look Like:
Program cultivates an inclusive environment where all youth and families are welcome and respected.
Staff create a safe atmosphere for children and youth to explore their own identity, including cultural beliefs and practices.
Youth are encouraged to be their whole selves, honoring their culture, sense of self and life experiences.
Program makes a genuine effort to ensure staff reflect the diverse race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, language and special needs of the young people being served.
Staff meet youth “where they’re at” and respond to their unique interests, needs and abilities. Young people’s cultures are recognized and understood.