The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY)

About This Program

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

For children/adolescents ages: 12 – 18

Program Overview

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

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY).

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

Program Delivery

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.

Recommended Intensity:

Contact intensity can vary depending on the age and needs of the young people in the program. Young people meet with their counselor at least twice each month.

Recommended Duration:

Young people are expected to work a minimum of 6 hours a week. They make a five-year commitment to the program.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Group or Residential Care


This program does not include a homework component.

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

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/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.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

Contact The Children's Village

Number of days/hours:


Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

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

Additional References

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