Learning Programs

Youth Development Specialist (YDS) Core Training (Virtual Course)

About the Youth Development Specialist Core Virtual Training

The Youth Development Specialist (YDS) Core Training program is a thirty (30) day program designed for in-coming Youth Development Specialists. Participants are given an over-view of all Division of Youth and Family Justice (DYFJ direct-child care policies and procedures to be followed and OCFS mandated training topics as a condition of employment with the agency. YDS participate in Child Abuse Maltreatment, Identification and Reporting, OSHA, CPR/ BFA and the agency’s sanctioned and approved verbal and physical intervention training program, Safe Crisis Management. YDS participate in on-the-job learning sessions, to experience the role and function of a YDS on-site at each of DYFJ’s two secure detention locations. In addition, YDS also participate in LGBTQ training, Prevention, Detection and Response to Sexual Misconduct (PREA) training, Missouri Youth Services Institute training, and Suicide Awareness & Preventive training. To support the ability of YDS to effectively engage and support youth, YDS’s receive training in resident supervision, professionalism, building relationships and other ancillary, but necessary, functions of providing care and management of pre-adjudicated youth. At the core of modifying and improving behavior of residents in the care of DYFJ, YDS are trained in the agency’s behavior management program, STRIVE+. The STRIVE program emphasizes pro-social interactions while consistently encouraging positive behaviors and modifying non-compliant, maladaptive behaviors.

Who Should Attend?

Those seeking to become Youth Development Specialists will be assigned to this onboarding course upon hire or transfer.

Important Information

  • Learners must be able to satisfactorily complete this foundational training course in order to become Youth Development Specialists.
  • Learners will receive a Certificate of Completion after completion of the program.

Continuing Education Units

There are no CEUs associated with this course.


ACS Human Resources and James Satterwhite Academy will register new hires and transfers to this course.

Upcoming Dates

Full Calendar Here