Don’t be Fooled, NSPN has you Covered

By Katie Carter and TC Cassidy

Whether your RHY-funded staff members are attending RHYTTAC conferences and trainings, you are a Safe Place agency getting help locating and recruiting sites, or you are a NSPN member during this hectic grant season, your team at NSPN is here to help – really! This is not a joke.



RHYTTAC is funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) as the training and technical assistance provider for all FYSB-funded RHY grantees. RHYTTAC staff members all have a background in FYSB-funded RHY program services and understand the challenges programs face in striving to achieve the best possible outcomes in the midst of staff turnover, community change and ever-emerging needs of the RHY population.

RHYTTAC provides tools, resources and consultation to assist FYSB RHY grantees so that they may engage in continuous quality improvement of their services and build their capacity to effectively serve RHY. Technical assistance services can include the provision of relevant resources; telephone consultation; email exchanges; Community of Practice support; on-site assessment and consultation to address program-specific needs. Technical assistance may be requested directly by a grantee or a Federal Project Officer may request RHYTTAC’s involvement to support a grantee’s effort.

RHYTTAC services are free for grantee organizations, with the exception of a small registration fee for the National RHY Grantees Conference and travel-related expenses. Recognizing that travel costs are often prohibitive for many grantees, RHYTTAC is working to ensure that topics delivered via technical assistance clinics and trainings are also made available to all grantees via the website and other outlets.

RHYTTAC wants to hear from you. If there is a training topic you would like to see added to the calendar for upcoming webinars or on-site events, please let us know by contacting us at

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) Member Support


In addition to operating RHYTTAC, for more than three decades, NSPN has provided services and support for agencies serving youth and families. NSPN offers a unique set of packages designed to meet the needs of youth and family service agencies across the country.

NSPN members are a part of a national network of dedicated youth service professionals working to strengthen the lives of youth and families. We provide training opportunities to gain Continuing Education Units, share current trends, best practices, and keep members updated on news and research.

We are here for you, to answer your questions, guide you through grant proposal applications, and introduce you to others in the field, doing similar work. If interested in learning more about membership opportunities, check out:

Safe Place Program Support

Safe Place logo

NSPN is constantly seeking to provide the greatest return on the investment that local licensed agencies make in implementing Safe Place in their communities. We offer materials and resources, professional program support, training and industry networking opportunities. Don’t Safe Place in your community? Let us know and we will work with you to see if starting the program is a feasible option. For more information about Safe Place, please visit:

Don’t be fooled by all NSPN has to offer. We are here to help. Just let us know what you need!

Women’s History Month Recognition: Celebrating Strength, Courage and Positive Self-Esteem

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the NSPN Communications Team (Elizabeth Smith Miller and Hillary Ladig) hosted RHYTTAC’s weekly-scheduled Talk it Out Thursday call. This week’s topic was, “Women’s History Month Recognition: Celebrating Strength, Courage and Positive Self-Esteem.” Many girls (and boys, for that matter) will enter your program having survived events that can tear anyone’s esteem down. It’s important to recognize low self-esteem and identify what factors that may be causing it. There are many types of issues and many reasons that cause them. There are also many ways to help boost esteem, build courage, and encourage strength.

We have compiled a list of resources related to this topic that we hope you find to be helpful.

Learning About and Teaching Women’s History’s Women’s History Resources: This is a one-stop shop for diving deep into Women’s History Month. Here, educators will find learning resources, lesson plans, and a long list of quizzes and printables for the classroom.

EDSITEment Women’s History Resources: Produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities, these resources include featured lesson plans and teaching resources that cover women in politics, the arts, and military and civilian service. The comprehensive plans highlight time required and subjects covered, and they include worksheets and links to required reading and resources.

Women’s History Resources for Teachers: These resources from the Library of Congress encourage teachers and students “to put primary resources to work in the classroom.” Featuring packaged lesson plans, this is a great resource. There are also wonderful audio and video resources, thorough primary source collections, and a number of timeless photo projects.

Women’s History Month: You may also want to check out the Library’s official Women’s History Month page at:

Science NetLinks Women’s History Collection: This Science NetLinks collection complements this year’s WHM theme well, which looks at women in STEM fields. This page features science lesson plans and teaching resources for all students of all ages. Teachers can filter results by grade level, and there is also a great list of science-specific outside links to lesson plans.

ReadWriteThink’s Women’s History: Here, educators will find thoughtful lesson plans, a list of links to online women’s history resources, as well as after-school ideas for teaching women’s history for parents. There are teacher-written lesson plans available for grades 3-12.

Zinn Education Project’s Women’s History Resources: These lesson plans incorporate Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” and they encourage classrooms to delve into American history by looking at our collective past through the eyes of everyday people. Instead of just highlighting iconic historical figures, these lessons look at history through the eyes of common women. (Note: access requires free registration.)

Reading Lists and Additional Collections for Students about Women’s History

There are so many great women’s history reads and resources online, and it’s hard to select just a few for youth. But, hopefully, these reading lists and additional resource collections will help spark curiosity in your programs.

A Collection of Teaching Resources for WHM, Scholastic Teachers:

The Origins of Women’s History Month, HISTORY:

The Best History Websites for WHM, EdTechTeacher:

WHM Videos, Articles, and Multimedia,’s%20History

Women’s History Month Reading Resources, TIME for Kids:

Women’s History Month Reading List, Reading Rockets:

Celebrate Women’s History, The New York Times’ The Learning Network:

Women’s History and Children’s Books, Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site:

Want to Learn More About Self-Esteem?

What is Self-Esteem?

Low Self-Esteem: This article shares information on the curvilinear model of self-esteem, empirical research, and low self-esteem in children and teens.

Low Self-esteem Signs and Symptoms:

5 Possible Causes of Low Self-esteem:

10 Sources of Low Self-esteem:

The Story of Self Esteem: This article provides helpful ways to explain what self-esteem is to younger children.

Teenage Girls’ Self Esteem – Your Inner Sparkle: is a helpful site dedicated to teenage girls.  Girls can visit this site to obtain information on confidence, Self esteem, Sex & Intimacy, Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Cyber Safety, and social life/work/school. is a neat site that offers information to teens about self-esteem and other topics.

Want to Learn More About How to Boost Self-Esteem?

Girls with Low Self-esteem: How to Raise Girls with Healthy Self-Esteem: This article shares information such as “when and why” self-esteem drops, the sexualization of girls and mental health problems, and more.

Help Children Develop a Positive Self-esteem:

Helping Teens Develop a Healthy Body Image: offers a site with self-esteem resources including “activities to promote self-esteem in girls”.

Youth Communication Program (click “For Agencies” & “For Teens” tabs):

Self-Esteem Boosting Worksheets offers many great tools for boosting self-esteem.

View-Worthy Videos

Always #LikeAGirl:

A Dove Film: A girl’s self esteem:

We invite you to join us every Thursday at 1pm ET. No need to sign up!  Just call us at 1-605-475-5950 and enter passcode 4560151# when prompted. Be sure to check your weekly TIOT email for the topic. Check out to learn more about Talk It Out Thursday. Feel free to connect with us at to share your ideas or learn more about NSPN, Safe Place, RHYTTAC, and HTR3!

Celebrating 40 Years of “Looks”

The Look

You know the look. If you have been around a while you have seen it hundreds if not thousands of times. You are meeting someone new and you are asked what it is that you do. Struggling to find the simplest, most straightforward answer, you might say…”I work with youth”. The person might ask for more…perhaps, “Are you a teacher?” and while the answer is yes, you are – you may probably say – no, I work in a shelter (substitute group home, residential treatment center, outpatient counseling, wilderness camp, after school program or…) and then, wait for it….the look.

The look is one filled with first bemusement, then questions and then the moment of “oh, that must be rewarding – I couldn’t do it” or “these kids today – they just need discipline” or maybe even “you must be a saint to deal with those little terrors”.

You may take time to explain but often you find it isn’t worth it. The people who respond in this way may never recognize, understand or feel what we do. It is an honor. It is a privilege and it is an enormous responsibility to stand in front of any other individual and say “give me your best shot – I can take it. I believe in you and I am not backing down, running away or giving up on you.” You see their minds working quickly to regain position. “Oh yeah, we’ll see” and then the tests begin. You are ready. You have studied. You have back-up and better yet, you have faith. And, after one or maybe many struggles – you see the other look. The one we anticipate. The one we hope to see. The one we love.

This look is filled with wonder and questions and a glimmer of confidence and self esteem that was hard to see. This look is filled with “don’t you watch the news? We are trouble. There is no point in trying. We will end up making sure that everything negative that was ever said about us is true because that may be the only way we don’t disappoint  our families, the system or anyone else that cares to pay any attention.”

Your look in response might be first filled with frustration, and a deep sigh and maybe even an unshed tear says “I know. I know who you are. I see your creativity, your energy, your resilience, your love for the other youth and the dreams that you swallow rather than let anyone hear them out loud. I know. You have made mistakes. You followed the leader or you led others into harm.  But we learn. We change. We grow. It starts here and I am by your side.”

The media, the system, the community and sometimes even our own families have a hard time understanding and embracing the youth we serve. It is easier to assign them a label and move on – hoping for better news with the next youth that crosses their paths. As we celebrate 40 years of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, take a moment to think about the youth that called, asked for help, walked into a shelter, received a hygiene kit or accepted a hug. Each one defied the odds, the expectations and took a step toward something different. Your look helped them know whether it was safe to keep moving in the right direction or if it was better to retreat.

Recently, Robin Williams – a comic genius and gifted actor – took his own life. In the film “Dead Poet’s Society” he portrays Professor Keating and he shares the following quote with the boys he is teaching. When speaking about life as a play he says “and that the powerful play goes on, and that you might contribute a verse.” What is the verse you contribute to the lives of youth? How do we support them in creating and sharing their own verses so that their stories blend with ours to continue this powerful play?

Remember that looks reflect what we see, feel and believe inside. Look at our youth with hope even when they push us further than we thought we could be pushed. Look at our youth in partnership. Even when they refuse every offer of assistance that comes their way. Look at our youth with acceptance. Even when who they are challenges every fiber of who you are.  Then, wait for it….

Author: Anonymous – Someone who has dedicated their life to serving youth; someone who has dedicated their life  to receiving “The Look”.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and we invite RHY Grantees to celebrate with us. Learn how at

All entries must be received no later than Monday, September 22, 2014.