Beginning in 2017, NDTAC will publish a series of briefs that focus on the professional development needs and interests of Neglected and Delinquent State coordinators, correctional educators, and providers of Title I, Part D (Part D) programs and services. The briefs will highlight key considerations for planning, designing, and delivering professional development for individuals working in Part D and correctional education programs. The goals of these briefs are to raise awareness and understanding of how professional development can enhance the quality of Part D services, build capacity for staff charged with addressing the needs of youth who find themselves in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and improve outcomes for this population of youth.
In this, our first professional development brief, we set forth the overarching considerations that should be kept in mind when conceptualizing professional development for educators working with youth who are neglected or delinquent (N or D). The brief begins by defining professional development and demonstrating why it is a critical support for educators and practitioners working in juvenile correctional settings. Next, we present the unique characteristics of the N or D population and highlight how having additional professional development could enable juvenile justice center staff to better understand and respond to the population’s needs. The brief concludes with a summary of ideas for professional development suggested by coordinators. This section also includes a description of some practices currently being implemented in the field.
Subsequent briefs will explore other areas for professional development, including but not limited to the administration and management of Federal programs, accountability and student achievement, transition planning, interagency coordination, and information sharing.