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University of Minnesota Extension

Dilemmas in Youth Work: Self-guided online course

Youth work practice is complex and dynamic. It can include challenging situations that are layered and deal with multiple considerations and changing circumstances. For example, youth may get off track, cross a line or butt heads. Factors from youths’ families and culture to organizational policies need to be considered. Dilemmas require youth workers to make decisions about how to respond to difficult moments.

This self-guided course uses real scenarios to spark reflection and help you examine various ways to respond. You'll come away feeling more confident addressing real-life dilemmas in your own program.

How it works

  • Go at your own pace (without a facilitator) through four modules that take about 30 minutes each. Additional time spent on application activities will vary.
  • Learn on your own time. Unlimited 24-hour web access to the self-guided course.
  • Videos and activities help you take concrete ideas back to your program.
  • Certificate of completion for three instruction hours is available at the end of the course. Please contact your licensing board or accrediting body to determine if this program meets eligibility to receive continuing education units.

You will

  • Learn about dilemmas of youth work identified in a national research study.
  • Respond to dilemmas in youth-centered ways.
  • Formulate responses that balance diverse and often competing considerations.
  • Consider roles, boundaries and ethical principles that guide your work.


The suggested fee is $25, sliding-scale pricing is available.


User name or password help: help@umn.edu or 612-301-4357
Content questions: Kate Walkerkcwalker@umn.edu
Registration questions: Department of Youth Development, cyd@umn.edu or  612-624-1999

Interested in participating?

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