The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescent boys and girls in residential treatment facilities or foster care

For children/adolescents ages: 12 – 18

Brief Description

The WAY program was designed to help youth make a successful transition back to their home communities, and gain the attitudes and skills needed to become productive and self-sufficient adults.

The WAY program features a progression of learning and responsibility in replicated job settings and real employment. It also has a counseling component providing a five-year commitment to residents who reach the highest level of the program.

Program Goals:

The goals of the The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) program are:

  • Help young people finish high school allowing successful entry into adult employment
  • Instill positive feelings about education and work
  • Teach young people skills for getting and holding a job
  • Help participants plan for their futures and acquire a sense of control over their lives

Essential Components

The essential components of The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) include:

  • Educational Advocacy:
    • Work with adolescent to set educational goals
    • Work with school staff to assist progress
    • Provide tutoring and other resources for school success
    • Develop individual plan for college or vocational education tailored to the preparedness of the student
  • Work Experience:
    • Provide replicated work experience to develop attitudinal job skills
    • Develop workshops to teach workplace behavior, interviewing, and the resolution of work conflicts
    • Provide onsite job coaching for residents in community jobs
    • Provide vocational counseling to explore a wider variety of career paths
    • Assist to develop career oriented job placements
  • Savings
    • Provide budget and financial literacy training
    • Develop short-term savings goals
    • Develop long-term savings goals
    • Provide a 1:1 savings match for savings towards education goals
  • Long-term Supportive Mentoring and Counseling:
    • Provide long-term (five years) supportive counseling, particularly in the community
    • Assist youth with developing independent living skills, particularly by work in the community
    • Assist youth in developing planning skills and ability to work through real life problems independently
    • Assist youth in understanding and navigating issues in transitioning to adulthood

Child/Adolescent Services

The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Living in residential treatment facilities or foster care.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Residential Care Facility


This program does not include a homework component.


The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Conference room with space for breakout groups
  • Computer and projector for Power Point presentations
  • Flip chart and markers
  • Three trainers
  • Job placement resources
  • Sufficient funding for long-term aspects of the program

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Counselors: Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and three years experience with an adolescent population. Supervisors: Master of Social Work (MSW) and five years supervisory experience.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Contact The Children's Village

Number of days/hours:


Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY).


American Youth Policy Forum. (2001). More things that DO make a difference for youth: A compendium of evaluations of youth programs and practices, Vol. II, same.

Dale, N., Baker, A. J. L., & Racine, D. (1999). Lessons learned: What the WAY program can teach us about program replication. Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum.

Youth programs that work for America and making children a national priority: A framework for community action, published by The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA).

Contact Information

Richard Larson
Title: Director of Program Scholarship and Aftercare
Agency/Affiliation: The Children's Village
Phone: (914) 693-0600 x6201
Fax: (914) 693-7775

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: September 2006

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2006