Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) serves more than 4 million youth members through 4,100 facilities across the nation and on U.S. military installations worldwide.
More than 320,000 Club professionals and volunteers support these youth members, working hard to provide them with safe, nurturing environments for growth, connection, and empowerment. Staff and volunteers face a whole host of serious "front line" issues that require thoughtful, sensitive guidance and exploration.
Recognizing this fact, in celebration of Counseling Awareness Month, The American Counseling Association (ACA) reached out to BGCA and offered to provide a free online learning toolkit titled "Grow-Connect-Empower!"
designed to empower staff and volunteers with the insights and information they need to address some of these issues with confidence. In the past, BGCA's programs focused primarily on physical health. Now they are moving toward a more holistic view of health and wellness that balances physical health with mental and emotional well-being. Enter the expertise of professional counselors! BGCA was eager to share a list of "hot topics" compiled from actual requests they've received from clubs across the country.
From that list, ACA's dedicated team of member volunteers (including seven past presidents) developed a series of podcasts and tip sheets that BGCA staff and volunteers can access from anywhere, anytime. Topics covered include: Working With Youth Who Experience Grief and Loss; Working Within a Multicultural Community; Working With Youth With Disabilities; Understanding Youth Bullying; Working With Youth From Military Families; Inclusion and Well Being of LGBTQ Youth; Suicide Prevention; Developmental Characteristics of Teens; and Listening & Communications Skills for Mentors.
ACA was honored to provide such a meaningful resource for people who touch so many lives. The partnership is a wonderful representation of the theme of Counseling Awareness Month 2016, Better Together With Counseling
, which focuses on the fundamental human exchange of counseling—the unique ability of counselors to connect with people, not just their problems or disorders.
Did you know Boys & Girls Clubs offer amazing after-school programs and summer camps? Contact your local Club to register a youth or to learn more about volunteer opportunities. Click here
Special thanks to our toolkit contributors: David Kaplan, PhD; Courtland Lee, PhD, Shana Schnaue, NCC; Thelma Duffey, PhD, Odis McKinzie Jr., MA, NCC, LPC; Colleen Logan, PhD, LPC, LMFT, NCC; Kristin L. Bruns, PhD; Amber Letcher, PhD; Bradley T. Erford, PhD; Jacqueline Mayorga; and Lynn E. Linde, EdD. Also to John Duggan, MA, NCC, LPC, LCPC, ACA's Manager of Professional Development, for producing these wonderful podcasts.