Professional Fields

Youth and Families

The Strengths Approach offers great benefit to this work, whether the venue is social work, education, parks and recreation, substance abuse, employment services, community programming or any other initiative that focuses on youth and families.

The Center for Strength-Based Strategies (CSBS) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Vision Training Associates -- the training arm to the Search Institute of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Search Institute and their research and application of the "40 Developmental Assets" has been a boon tothe resiliency field and champions protective factors (so often overshadowed by "risk" factors)

The CSBS will provide assets/strengths training for challening youth and youth who are court-mandated.

Our Director, Michael Clark, has presented workshops at several of the Search Institute's national conferences, has been featured in thier Assets magazine:

(Autumn 2000) Melby, Todd. "A New Verdict for Juvenile Offenders: ...and assets for all" Assets: The Magazine of Ideas for Healthy Communities & Healthy Youth. Vol. 5 (4). 12-13. Click here to download the full article.

Helpful resources to begin with are:

(1994) Berg, Insoo Kim, (1994). Family Based Services: A Solution Focused Approach. New York: WW Norton

(2001) Clark, Michael D., “Change-Focused Youth Work: The Critical Ingredients of Positive Behavior Change” Journal of the Center for Families, Children & the Courts, Vol. 3, 59-72. Click here to download the full article. This article provides a helpful glimpse to the content of it.

The training worshops offered by our CSBS to help staff work with challenging youth and families. Keep your time productive with Strength-based strategies. (To review the workshop(s) agenda, visit the “Training and Assistance” section, click on “Strength-based Practice”)

(June 1988) Clark, Michael. "Strength-Based Practice: The ABC's of Working With Adolescents Who Don't Want To Work With You" Federal Probation Quarterly, (62)1, 46-53. Click here to download the full article.

(Summer 2000) Laursen, Erik. “Strength-Based Practice with Children in Trouble” Reclaiming Children and Youth 9(2), 70-75, Web URL:

Saleebey, Dennis. (ed.) 3rd Edition (2002). The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice. New York: Longman

Wolin, S. J. & Wolin, S. (1993). The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity. New York: Villard


Selected (partial) listing of previous trainings facilitated by theCenter for Strength-Based Strategies

**Keynotes in Bold

Please refer to our Center's "Training Schedule" to locate our new consulting clients for 2010

State of Maine, Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse Services and AdCare Educational Institute, Inc. Two 2 day trainings, 1) “Strength-based Strategies for Youth & Families” and 2) Advanced Strength-based Strategies and 3) Half-day Interactive broadcast from Augusta, Maine to four statewide sites “Strength-based Practice and Adolescent Issues of Emotions, Reasoning and Risk-taking.
, Maine

Rappahannock Region Juvenile Justice Council – Drug Free Communities Support Grant, Half-day workshop: “Turning High-Risk to High-Yield with Strength-based Practice”
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Butler County Commissioners Forum on Families and Children, Butler County Family and Children First Council, “Strengths Training for Staff Working With Challenging Youth”
Hamilton, Ohio

Search Institute – National Asset-Building Conference, 2 workshop presentations: “Substance Abuse and Adolescent Development” and “The Research on Motivation and Human Behavior Change”
Dallas, Texas

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare – Region II Children’s Mental Health Council, “Adolescent Development for Foster Parents”
Lewiston, Idaho

Southwest Key, Inc. (youth treatment & residential programs) 2-day training in Strength-based Practice and 1 day Train-the-trainer
Conroe, Texas

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare and the Idaho Child Welfare Research & Training Center, Eastern Washington University—Idaho Systems of Care Conference 2005 “Strength-based Practice in Child Welfare”
Boise, Idaho

The Children’s Partnership – Systems of Care Wraparound Summit for Children and Families, keynote address: “Strength-Based Strategies”
Austin, Texas

Search Institute – National Asset-Building Conference, 2 workshop presentations: “Substance Abuse and Adolescent Development” and “Mini-Plenary – Juvenile Justice”
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Children’s Mental Health Council & Kootenai Medical Center – North Idaho Behavioral Health Program, 2 day training program: “Strength-Based Strategies”
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Fort Wayne Annual Conference on Youth, keynote address: “Strength-Based Practice: Turning High-Risk to High-Yield”
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sommerset County Local Management Board, first 2 day training in series: “Motivational Interviewing I: Bypassing Resistance-Evoking Positive Behavior Change”
Princess Anne, Maryland

Children’s Hospital of Michigan, full day training, “A Strength-Based Approach” and “Motivational Interviewing”
Detroit, Michigan

National Association of Social Workers – West Virginia Chapter, 2004 Spring Conference, Keynote Address: “Motivating Challenging Clients” and following workshop: “Motivational Interviewing”
Charleston, West Virginia

US Department of Health, Office of Minority Health and Central State University of Ohio – Family and Community Violence Prevention Program, 2 day workshop: the Strength-based Approach
Wilberforce, Ohio

Department of Mental Health-Orange County Community Mental Health Center, 2 day trainings, Strength-based Practice & Motivational Interviewing,
Middletown, New York

South Central Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Two training sessions, (1) The Strength-Based Approach and (2) Motivational Interviewing
Grand Island, Nebraska
Hastings, Nebraska

Placer County Collaboration Initiative, Keynote address: Integrating Client/Family Centered and Strength-based Strategies into our Policies and Practice
Tahoe City, California

Columbia County Commission on Children and Families, Series of three trainings: Strength-based Strategies and Motivational Interviewing
St. Helens, Oregon

New York Department of Social Services-Orange County, 2 day workshop: Strength-based Training for Sexually-abused Children and Families.
Middletown, New York

Community Partnerships of the Ozarks, Inc. – 2 day training: Agency/Organization Collaboration with the Strengths Approach
Springfield, Missouri

California Department of Health & Human Services – County of Placer, 2 day training: Strength-based Training for Working with Challenging Clients—Adults and Youth.
Loomis, California

15th Annual Adolescents & Families Conference – Keynote Address, “Connecting With Families”
Cable, Wisconsin

Child Abuse Council –State of Michigan, Children’s Trust Fund & North Central Michigan College, Keynote: Adolescent Development and Substance Abuse
Petoskey, Michigan

Community-Based Behavioral Health Service s in Dutchess County, 2 day training: Strength-based Strategies
Poughkeepsie, New York

Pejaro Valley Prevention Services, 2 day training: Motivational Interviewing
Wastonville, California

Youth Services of Freemont County, 2 day training: Strengths Training for Youth and Family Staff
Lander, Wyoming

21st Annual Michigan Statewide Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Plenary Address: From High-Risk to High-Yield: Using Strength-based Practice to Raise Motivation
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Milwaukee Family Literacy Partnership, 2 day training in Strength-based Strategies
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Washington County Community Partnership – 4th Annual Summit, Keynote Address: High Risk to High-Yield-Raising Motivation with Strength-based Strategies
Hagerstown, Maryland

Wicomico County Partnership for Families & Children, 2 day training in Strength-based Practice Salisbury, Maryland

Michigan Prevention Association – Annual Prevention Conference – Keynote Address, "From High-Risk to High-Yield: Strength-based Strategies for Prevention"
Lansing, Michigan

Muskegon Community College – Early Childhood Conference,
Muskegon, Michigan

Search Institute – National Asset-Building Conference,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Northeast Florida Educational Conference
Daytona Beach, Florida

National Center for Family Literacy,8th Annual National Conference –
Louisville, Kentucky