In partnership with its State Affiliates, NAA has been working on fostering positive youth outcomes by supporting, developing, and advocating for afterschool professionals and leaders for over 30 years. Efforts include elements of a profession such as the Code of Ethics, Core Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies, and Professional Credentialing System for OST professionals.
Over time, the OST field has made great strides in research, practice, and policies which have influenced funding in support of quality afterschool programs. The research clearly shows that program staff are at the core of the program quality, leading to positive youth outcomes. Yet, the skilled and caring adults who play such an essential role in young people's development are still not recognized, rewarded, and provided with the job quality commensurate with their contributions and impact. NAA and its members are committed to changing that.
In early 2022, NAA launched the Thriving Workforce Initiative. This strategic work, led by Angelica Portillo, NAA's Director of Workforce and Advocacy, includes broad goals and specific objectives and strategies supporting adequate, holistic compensation. In talking about NAA's workforce development efforts, Portillo shared, "Moving this invaluable workforce forward is necessary for upholding the field's commitment to equity, access, and quality."
Today, NAA is publicly and formally announcing a Proclamation on the OST Profession, a set of principles collaboratively created by field leaders at NAA's 2022 Convention. The Proclamation on the Profession recognizes that the work of OST professionals matters and will serve as a foundational guide for the collective work necessary to drive workforce-related change.
If you believe in the statements of the Proclamation, the power of the OST field, and its valuable professionals, NAA invites you to commit to quality jobs and equitable hiring practices today by taking the Pledge to the Profession.
After taking the Pledge start fulfilling your commitment today:
- Acknowledge the barriers and challenges the OST Workforce is facing:
- Better understand the importance of job quality:
- Stay updated on NAA's Creating a Thring OST Workforce efforts:
- Access additional resources Linked Here:
- Creating a Thriving OST Workforce webinar recording and slides
- Proclamation and Pledge graphics to help spread the word
- Join the Advancing Equity and Inclusion in Hiring and Staff Development webinar on July 13, 2022, at 1:00 PM EST.