New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition - the Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities
Quality Standards

Self-Assessment Rubric: Human Relationships

Performance Levels
Rate your afterschool program in each of the indicators using the following system:

  • Performance Level 1: Needs Improvement/Standard Not Met
  • Performance Level 2: Some Progress Made/Approaching Standard
  • Performance Level 3: Satisfactory/Meets Standard
  • Performance Level 4: Excellent/Exceeds Standard

A quality afterschool program should strive to meet Performance Level 3 on all quality indicators.

1. Staff relate to all youth in positive ways

a. Staff treat youth with respect and listen to what they say.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are always respectful of youth when they interact. They are proactive about seeking and listening to youths’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are generally respectful of youth when they interact, though some staff occasionally interact with youth in a disrespectful manner. Staff generally listen to youths’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings when youth present them. However, they are not always proactive about seeking to hear what youth have to say.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff are sometimes respectful of youth when they interact, but it is common for staff to interact with youth in a disrespectful manner. Staff sometimes listen to youths’ opinions, thoughts, and feelings, but it is common for staff to neglect to listen to what youth present.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff generally interact with youth in a disrespectful manner and neglect to listen to what youth say.

b. Staff make youth feel welcome and comfortable.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff always make youth feel welcome and comfortable. They frequently take steps to assess youth comfort and redress the problem when youth feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at the program.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally make youth feel welcome and comfortable when directly interacting with youth, and they sometimes take steps to redress the problem when youth feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at the program for other reasons. However, they do not always recognize when youth feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff occasionally make youth feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at the program due to their own actions or words, and they do little to redress the problem when youth feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at the program for other reasons.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff often make youth feel unwelcome or uncomfortable at the program.

c. Staff respond to youth with acceptance and appreciation.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff always respond to youth with acceptance and appreciation.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally respond to youth with acceptance and appreciation. However, youth occasionally feel that they are not accepted or appreciated by staff members.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff sometimes respond to youth with acceptance and appreciation, but this is not a strong focus of the program. Youth often feel they are not accepted or appreciated by staff members.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff frequently respond to youth in a way that does not show acceptance and appreciation. Youth generally feel that they are not accepted or appreciated by staff members.

d. Staff are visibly engaged with youth during activities.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are always visibly engaged with youth when supervising program activities. This means they are asking questions, speaking with youth, working side-by-side, and/or acting as active listeners or observers.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are often visibly engaged with youth when supervising program activities. This means they are often asking questions, speaking with youth, working side-by-side, and/or acting as active listeners or observers. However, they are sometimes acting as passive observers instead.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff are sometimes visibly engaged with youth when supervising program activities. However, they are often acting as passive observers and are sometimes merely present and not observing at all.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are almost always either passive observers of program activities or merely present and not observing at all.

2. Staff respond appropriately to individual needs of youth

a. Staff know that each youth has special interests and talents.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained to recognize each youth’s special interests and talents. They manifest this through frequent displays of appreciation for each youths’ special interests and talents.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally understand that each youth has special interests and talents and manifest this through displaying their appreciation for each youths’ special interests and talents. However, staff training does not specifically cover this topic, and/or staff sometimes neglect to appreciate the special interests and talents of some youth.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often neglect to appreciate the special interests and talents of youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not appreciate the special interests and talents of youth.

b. Staff recognize the range of youths' abilities.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained to recognize the range of youths’ abilities and how to respond accordingly. They manifest this by adjusting their approach to youth depending on that individual youth’s abilities in that context.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally understand the range of youths’ abilities and manifest this by adjusting their approach to youth depending on the individual and the situation. However, staff training does not specifically cover this topic, and/or staff sometimes neglect to approach youth in a manner that takes into account that individual youth’s abilities in that context.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often neglect to approach youth in a manner that takes into account that individual youth’s abilities in that context.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff rarely approach youth in a manner that takes into account that individual youth’s abilities in that context.

c. Staff respect youths' cultural style and primary language.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained to be knowledgeable in the home cultures that are common among program youth, as well as trained more generally in principles of cross-cultural communication. Staff frequently adjust their communication, procedures, or activities in order to incorporate knowledge of home cultures and languages and of cross-cultural communication. Staff infrequently offend youth or families due to disrespect for home culture, and when this happens, they acknowledge the offense and adjust accordingly.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are trained to be knowledgeable in the home cultures that are common among program youth, as well as trained more generally in principles of cross-cultural communication. However, this training does not always translate effectively into adjustment of communication, procedures, or activities. Staff occasionally offend youth or families due to disrespect for home culture, and when this happens, they generally acknowledge the offense and make efforts to adjust accordingly.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff training makes reference to respect for youths’ home cultures and languages, but it is not comprehensive or effective. Staff often offend youth or families due to disrespect for home culture. When this happens, they sometimes acknowledge the offense and make efforts to adjust accordingly.
  • Performance Level 1: The administration does not address youths’ home cultures and languages or cross-cultural communication. Staff frequently offend youth or families due to disrespect for home culture without acknowledging the offense or adjusting behavior.

d. Staff recognize the range of youths' feelings and temperaments and respond appropriately.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained to recognize the range of youths’ feelings and temperaments and how to respond accordingly. They manifest this by adjusting their approach to youth depending on how that individual is likely to feel in that context.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally understand the range of youths’ feelings and temperaments and manifest this by adjusting their approach to youth accordingly. However, staff training does not specifically cover this topic, and/or staff sometimes neglect to approach youth in a manner that takes into account how that individual youth is likely to feel in that context.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often neglect to approach youth in a manner that takes into account how that individual youth is likely to feel in that context. However, staff do many some attempts to differentiate their approach based on the feelings and temperaments of individual youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff interact with all youth in the same manner, without regard for the range of youths’ feelings and temperaments.

3. Staff encourage youth to make choices and to become more responsible

a. Staff offer assistance without taking control and in a way that supports a youth's initiative.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff ask youth carefully-considered open-ended questions that encourage youth to make their own decisions.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff respond to youth’s struggles or requests for assistance by supporting youth to make their own decisions. However, they are more likely to ask leading questions than carefully-considered open-ended questions and sometimes undermine youth’s developing decision-making skills.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often respond to youth’s struggles or requests for assistance by taking control, thus undermining youth’s initiative. However, they do communicate effectively with youth about their own thinking process.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff generally respond to youth’s struggles or requests for assistance by taking control, thus undermining youth’s initiative. They generally do not communicate with youth about their own thinking process.

b. Staff encourage youth to take leadership roles.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff actively create and search for leadership opportunities that are a good match for the individual skills of program youth and encourage youth to take on those roles.
  • Performance Level 3: When leadership roles arise that are a good match for the individual skills of program youth, staff encourage youth to take on those roles. However, staff do not actively create and search for such opportunities.
  • Performance Level 2: When leadership roles arise, staff sometimes make youth aware of these opportunities. However, they do little to match roles with the individual skills of youth or to encourage youth to feel they are qualified for the role.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff rarely bring leadership opportunities to youth or encourage youth to take on leadership roles.

c. Staff give youth many chances to choose what they will do, how they will do it, and with whom.

  • Performance Level 4: Each day at the program, each youth has the opportunity at least once to choose what they will do, how they will do it, and with whom. Youth rarely participate in program activities in which they have no choice as to what they will do, how they will do it, or with whom.
  • Performance Level 3: On most days at the program, though not all days, each youth has the opportunity at least once to choose what they will do, how they will do it, and with whom. Youth occasionally participate in program activities in which they have no choice as to what they will do, how they will do it, or with whom.
  • Performance Level 2: On most days at the program, youth lack the opportunity to choose what they will do, how they will do it, or with whom. However, program staff sometimes offer youth the opportunity to make these choices.
  • Performance Level 1: Youth almost never have the opportunity within the program to choose what they will do, how they will do it, or with whom.

4. Staff interact with youth to help them learn

a. Staff ask questions that encourage youth to think for themselves.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff ask youth carefully-considered open-ended questions that encourage youth to think for themselves.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff ask youth questions to encourage their thinking. However, staff are more likely to ask leading questions than carefully-considered open-ended questions and sometimes undermine youth thinking for themselves.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often tell youth what to think. However, they do communicate effectively with youth about their own thinking process.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff often tell youth what to think, and they generally do not communicate with youth about their own thinking process.

b. Staff share skills and resources to help youth gain information and solve problems.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff actively seek out resources and identify skills to share with youth when these can help youth to gain information and solve problems.
  • Performance Level 3: When youth come to staff with a problem or need, staff make efforts to share helpful resources and skills to help youth to gain information and solve the problem. However, they are not proactive about their process and sometimes share resources or skills that are not the ideal match for the situation.
  • Performance Level 2: When youth come to staff with a problem or a need, staff often try to solve the problem themselves. However, they sometimes share relevant skills and resources with youth to educate them about their problem-solving process.
  • Performance Level 1: When youth come to staff with a problem or a need, staff generally try to solve the problem themselves. They do not share relevant skills and resources with youth to educate them about their problem-solving process.

c. Staff vary the approaches they use to help youth learn.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff actively assess the approaches they use with each youth to help her/him learn and adjust accordingly when an approach is not working. They experiment with multiple approaches with each youth in order to identify what works best and maximize youth exposure to different learning strategies.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally assess the approaches they use with each youth to help her/him learn and adjust accordingly when an approach is not working. Once determining a successful strategy, they generally stop experimenting with multiple approaches with each youth.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff generally use the same learning approaches from youth to youth and with the same youth over time. However, they sometimes experiment with different approaches and adjust when they find that another approach works better.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff use the same learning approaches from youth to youth and with the same youth over time. They rarely experiment with different approaches.

d. Staff help youth use language skills through frequent conversations.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff look for and take advantage of frequent opportunities to have conversations with youth. They use these conversations to increase youth exposure to effective communication techniques and extensive vocabulary.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff often engage in conversations with youth, but they do not generally look for these opportunities and often pass up opportunities that arise. Staff generally strive to use effective communication techniques and vocabulary during these conversations, but they often neglect to use the opportunity to introduce youth to new communication techniques or vocabulary.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff frequently pass up opportunities that arise to converse with youth. When they do converse with youth, they generally strive to use effective communication techniques and vocabulary during these conversations, but they often neglect to use the opportunity to introduce youth to new communication techniques or vocabulary.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff frequently pass up opportunities that arise to converse with youth. They rarely introduce youth to new communication techniques or vocabulary.

5. Staff treat youth as program collaborators and foster in youth a sense of program ownership

a. Staff involve youth in creating rules and consequences for the program as a whole and for individual games.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff engage youth on an annual basis in creating rules and consequences for the program as a whole. This process is inclusive of all youth and includes measures to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured. The process concludes with a written rules and consequences document that successfully incorporates youth input. Each time the program introduces a new activity that requires discussion of rules and consequences, staff engage youth as active partners in the discussion.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff engage youth on an annual basis in creating rules and consequences for the program as a whole. However, the process is not inclusive of all youth and/or lacks measures to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured. Or, alternatively, the process results in program rules and consequences that do not successfully incorporate youth input. When the program introduces a new activity that requires discussion of rules and consequences, staff generally engage youth as active partners in the discussion.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff do occasionally include youth in creating rules and consequences for the program as a whole or for individual games. However, this process is not regularized or planned and is often ineffective at genuinely engaging youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not include youth in creating rules and consequences for the program as a whole or for individual games.

b. Staff involve youth in creating activity plans.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff engage youth on a monthly basis in creating activity plans for the coming month. The process is inclusive of all youth and includes measures to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured. The resulting activity plans successfully incorporate the input of the youth.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff engage youth periodically in an organized manner in creating program activity plans. However, this process does not occur on a regularized basis, is not inclusive of all youth, lacks measures to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured, and/or results in activity plans that do not successfully incorporate youth input.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff do occasionally include youth in creating program activity plans. However, this process is unorganized and is often ineffective at genuinely engaging youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not involve youth in creating activity plans.

c. Staff encourage input and feedback from youth regarding the program.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff use both formal and informal strategies to encourage youth to share their input and feedback regarding the program. Staff encourage all youth to give input, take steps to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured, and ensure that there are mechanisms for translating input into change when appropriate.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff use either formal or informal strategies, but not both, to encourage youth to share their input and feedback regarding the program. Strategies are not inclusive of all youth, lack measures to ensure that youth’s genuine opinions are captured, and/or neglect to translate input into change.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff do not actively encourage youth to share their input and feedback regarding the program. However, when youth offer input or feedback unprompted, staff often respond positively and look for ways to translate that input into change.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff discourage youth from sharing their input and feedback regarding the program. When youth offer input or feedback, staff often respond negatively.

6. Staff use positive techniques to guide the behavior of youth

a. Staff model positive behavior when with the youth.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff always model behavior with the youth that epitomizes the values of the program. Youth never see staff behaving in a manner that contracts these values or contradicts program expectations for youth.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally model positive behavior when with the youth. Youth rarely see staff behaving in a manner that contradicts the values of the program or contradicts program expectations for youth. However, this does happen occasionally.
  • Performance Level 2: Youth often see staff behaving in a manner that contradicts the values of the program or contradicts program expectations for youth. However, they rarely see staff breaking explicit program rules or behaving in a way that contradicts explicit rules that program youth are required to follow.
  • Performance Level 1: Youth often see see staff breaking explicit program rules or behaving in a way that contradicts explicit rules that program youth are required to follow

b. Staff use positive feedback in response to positive behaviors, such as when youth cooperate, share, or care for materials.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff consistently show youth that they appreciate it when youth display positive behaviors, and they use communication strategies that are meaningful to youth. They rarely miss opportunities to give positive feedback in response to positive behaviors.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally respond with positive feedback to positive youth behaviors. However, they sometimes miss opportunities or neglect to communicate appreciation in ways that are meaningful to the youth.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff sometimes communicate appreciation to youth when the youth display positive behaviors. However, they frequently miss opportunities or neglect to communicate appreciation in ways that are meaningful to the youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not use positive feedback in response to positive youth behavior.

c. Staff set appropriate limits for youth.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff create space for youth to make choices within the boundaries of behavior limits. These limits are established based on current research and recommendations regarding best practices in youth development.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff create space for youth to make choices within the boundaries of behavior limits. However, these boundaries are sometimes either too narrow or too wide to maximize youth’s development of strong decision-making skills.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff seek to create space for youth to make choices within the boundaries of behavior limits. However, these boundaries are often either too narrow or too wide to maximize youth’s development of strong decision-making skills.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff frequently set in appropriate limits for youth, instead setting boundaries that are either too wide or too narrow.

d. Staff make sure youth understand the behavior expectations, rules, and consequences.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff ensure that youth understand the behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program through the use of frequent, two-way communication with program youth and families on the topic. All youth and families receive a written document in a language the youth and families understand outlining behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program, and such a document is posted in a prominent location at the program.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff seek to ensure that youth understand the behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program. However, communication with program youth and families on the topic is not always two-way, frequent enough, or effective. All youth and families receive a written document outlining behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program, but in some cases this document is not in a language the youth and families understand. Such a document is posted at the program, but it may not be in a prominent location.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff seek to ensure that youth understand the behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program. However, communication with program youth and families on the topic is infrequent, and when it occurs, it is generally ineffective. Most youth and families receive a written document outlining behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program, but some families do not receive this document. Such a document is posted at the program, but it is not in a prominent location.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not take any steps to ensure that youth understand the behavior expectations, rules, and consequences at the program.

e. Staff enforce rules fairly and consistently.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are always fair and consistent in their enforcement of the rules. When youth misbehavior occurs, staff make every effort to learn the full story. When youth or families question the fairness or consistency of staff rule enforcement, staff consider the question carefully, then either adjust their rule enforcement or explain clearly the reason they believe their enforcement is fair and consistent.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are generally fair and consistent in their enforcement of the rules. When youth misbehavior occurs, staff often but do not always seek out the full story. Youth and families have limited opportunity to question the fairness or consistently of staff rule enforcement.
  • Performance Level 2: There are frequent problems with staff enforcing rules in a manner that is not fair or consistent. When youth misbehavior occurs, staff often neglect to seek out the full story. Youth and families have limited opportunity to question the fairness or consistently of staff rule enforcement.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff generally enforce the rules in a manner that is unfair or inconsistent.

f. When youth break rules, staff use immediate, short-term, developmentally appropriate consequences that are directly related to the broken rule. See the resources section for more guidance about using consequences.

  • Performance Level 4: When staff use consequences, these are always immediate, short-term, and developmentally appropriate. Staff are trained to be able to effectively draw on examples of appropriate consequences in a wide variety of common situations.
  • Performance Level 3: When staff use consequences, these are generally immediate, short-term, and developmentally appropriate. Staff are instructed to use consequences with these characteristics, but they are not adequately trained to draw on examples of appropriate consequences in a wide variety of common situations. Occasionally, staff use inappropriate consequences.
  • Performance Level 2: It is common for staff to use inappropriate consequences when youth break rules, including consequences that are too delayed, last too long, or are developmentally inappropriate. The program does not adequately instruct or train staff to use appropriate consequences.
  • Performance Level 1: When youth break program rules, most consequences are inappropriate, including those that are too delayed, last too long, or are developmentally inappropriate.

g. Staff do not use any harsh discipline methods.

  • Performance Level 4: No staff members ever use “harsh discipline methods,” as defined in the glossary section of the NJ Quality Standards for Afterschool.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff rarely use “harsh discipline methods,” as defined in the glossary section of the NJ Quality Standards for Afterschool. This occasionally occurs, in which case the program administration addresses the situation immediately and effectively.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff sometimes use “harsh discipline methods,” as defined in the glossary section of the NJ Quality Standards for Afterschool. When this occurs, the administration’s response is generally too delayed and/or ineffective.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff frequently use “harsh discipline methods,” as defined in the glossary section of the NJ Quality Standards for Afterschool. The administration does not effectively instruct staff not to use these methods.

h. Staff seek to help youth replace problematic behavior with new behavior skills. For example, this may include teaching and modeling conflict resolution skills. (Note: The understanding of "problematic behavior" should be up to the individual program.)

  • Performance Level 4: When youth display problem behaviors, staff proactively teach and model new skills and behaviors to help youth develop more positive behaviors. This includes introducing relevant evidence-based techniques, activities, and curricula.
  • Performance Level 3: When youth display problem behaviors, staff sometimes teach and model new skills and behaviors to help youth develop more positive behaviors. However, this teaching and modeling is not generally planned, and it does not generally draw on evidence-based techniques, activities, or curricula.
  • Performance Level 2: When youth display problem behaviors, staff occasionally teach or model new skills and behavior to help youth develop more positive behaviors. However, this is not frequent, is not generally planned, and is often ineffective.
  • Performance Level 1: When youth display problem behaviors, staff neglect to teach or model new skills and behavior to help youth develop more positive behaviors.

i. Staff encourage youth to resolve their own conflicts. If needed, staff step in to discuss the issues and work out a solution together with the youth.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff communicate to youth that they have confidence in youth’s ability to resolve their own conflicts. They remind youth of the relevant program rules and values but otherwise give youth adequate space to resolve their own conflicts before stepping in. When they do step in, they encourage youth to calmly share their feelings and opinions and guide the youth towards coming up with a solution. Staff are trained to effectively manage conflict resolution.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff communicate to youth that they have confidence in youth’s ability to resolve their own conflicts. They remind youth of the relevant program rules and values but otherwise generally give youth adequate space to resolve their own conflicts before stepping in. However, staff sometimes step in prematurely. When they do step in, they encourage youth to calmly share their feelings and opinions but sometimes are too heavy-handed in guiding the youth towards a solution. Staff are trained to manage conflict resolution, but this training is limited.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff ask youth to resolve their own conflicts but do not communicate to youth that they have confidence in youth’s ability to do so. They frequently step in prematurely and are often too heavy-handed in guiding the youth towards a solution. Staff are not trained to manage conflict resolution.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not ask youth to resolve their own conflicts and generally step in to dictate solutions with limited input from the youth.

7. Staff strive to eliminate negative or unsafe peer interactions

a. Staff are observant of youth interactions.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained to recognize the signs of unsafe youth peer interaction, even when observing youth from a distance. There is always at least one staff person observing youth interactions at least every 15 minutes. Staff communicate clearly that youth should feel welcome and safe telling them about uncomfortable peer interactions.
  • Performance Level 3: There is always at least one staff person observing youth interactions at least every 15 minutes. Staff are trained to recognize the signs of unsafe youth peer interaction; however, they are not trained to recognize these signs from a distance. Staff do not always communicate clearly that youth should feel welcome and safe telling them about uncomfortable peer interactions.
  • Performance Level 2: There is often at least one staff person observing youth interactions at least every 15 minutes. However, more time often passes when staff are not checking in to observe youth peer interactions. Staff to do receive any specialized training to recognize the signs of unsafe youth peer interaction.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are not observant of youth interactions.

b. Staff intervene immediately to stop negative or unsafe peer interactions.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained in the the most effective time and way to intervene when observing negative or unsafe peer interactions, and they use this training when acting.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are trained in the most effective time and way to intervene when observing negative or unsafe peer interaction, and they generally use this training when acting. However, staff interaction occasionally comes too late, at inappropriate times, or in an ineffective manner.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff are not trained in the most effective time and way to intervene when observing negative or unsafe peer interaction. Staff interaction often comes too late, at inappropriate times, or in an ineffective manner.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff rarely intervene to stop negative or unsafe peer interaction.

c. Staff follow up to check on the emotional state of all the youth involved and to identify the source of the problem.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff are trained in the most effective way to follow up with the involved youth following the interaction, and they use this training when acting. Staff generally accurately identify the source of the problem. Victimized youth generally feel comforted at least to some degree after staff follow-up.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff are trained in the most effective way to follow up with the involved youth following the interaction, and they generally use this training when acting. Staff often accurately identify the source of the problem but frequently misinterpret actions or complete investigation before fully understanding the situation. Victimized youth often feel comforted at least to some degree after staff follow-up.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff are not trained in the most effective way to follow up with the involved youth following the interaction. Staff often misinterpret actions or complete investigation before fully understanding the situation. Victimized youth often do not feel at all comforted after staff follow-up.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not follow up to check on the emotional state of all the youth involved or to identify the source of the problem.

d. Staff seek to educate youth in how to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions and how to report it to an adult.

  • Performance Level 4: Youth receive both formal/structured and informal/unstructured education in how to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions and how to report it to an adult. Formal/structured education in this topic follows an evidence-based or well-respected curriculum. Informal/unstructured education in this topic occurs within the context of close and trusting staff-youth relationships and covers the key points from the formal curriculum.
  • Performance Level 3: Youth receive either (but not both) formal/structured or informal/unstructured education in how to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions and how to report it to an adult. If there is formal/structured education on this topic, it follows an evidence-based or well-respected curriculum. If there is informal/unstructured education on this topic, it occurs within the context of close and trusting staff-youth relationships and adheres to the values and rules of the program.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff provide structured/formal training to youth in how to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions and how to report it to an adult. However, this training is not drawn from an evidence-based or well-respected curriculum. Or alternatively, staff provide informal/unstructured education to youth on this topic, but these conversations are sometimes ineffective or inappropriate in context or content.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not seek to educate youth in how to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions and how to report it to an adult. Or alternatively, staff advise youth to respond to negative or unsafe peer interactions in further negative or unsafe ways.

8. Staff display sensitivity to the culture and background of the youth

Staff display sensitivity to youths' ethnicity, language, religion, and family make-up.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff provide numerous and varied opportunities for program youth to share information about their culture and background. Staff almost always take the culture and background of program youth into account at times and in a manner that is appropriate, informed, respectful, and meaningful. Similarly, on the occasion that a staff member displays insensitivity, s/he seeks to redress her/his own mistake in an appropriate, informed, respectful, and meaningful manner. Staff participate in effective and ongoing cultural competency training, as needed.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff provide opportunities for program youth to share information about their culture and background. However, these opportunities are not numerous or varied enough to maximize what the youth share. Staff generally take the culture and background of program youth into account at times and in a manner that is appropriate, informed, respectful, and meaningful. When staff display insensitivity to the culture and background of youth, they do not consistently seek to redress their own mistakes in an appropriate, informed, respectful, and meaningful manner. Staff participate in effective cultural competency training; however, this training is not offered on an ongoing basis even when needed.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff provide limited opportunities for program youth to share information about their culture and background, and they often neglect to take the culture and background of program youth into account. When staff display insensitivity to the culture and background of youth, they do not consistently seek to redress their own mistakes in an appropriate, informed, respectful, and meaningful manner. Staff do not participate in effective cultural competency training.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff regularly use words and/or voice options that are widely considered insensitive to youths' ethnicity, language, religion, and/or family make-up.

9. The program structure supports strong staff-youth relationships

The program and schedule are structured so that staff and youth have the opportunity to develop close, sustained relationships with each other. For example, youth are able to work with the same staff over extended periods of time.

  • Performance Level 4: When scheduling activities and staffing, the program prioritizes placing and keeping youth together with staff with whom they can develop and sustain close relationships. It is uncommon for scheduling and staffing changes during the school year to result in separating staff and youth who have developed a close relationship.
  • Performance Level 3: When scheduling activities and staffing, the program maintains consideration of placing and keeping youth together with staff with whom they can develop and sustain close relationships. However, this consideration is not a priority and is often outweighed by other considerations.
  • Performance Level 2: The program rarely considers the maintenance of strong staff-youth relationships when scheduling activities and staffing. However, the administration occasionally considers this factor when there are no competing factors.
  • Performance Level 1: The program does not consider the maintenance of strong staff-youth relationships when scheduling activities and staffing. It is common for scheduling and staffing changes during the school year to result in separating staff and youth who have developed a close relationship.

10. Youth generally interact with one another in positive ways

a. Youth appear relaxed and involved with each other.

  • Performance Level 4: Youth rarely avoid interaction with each other or appear tense while interacting with each other.
  • Performance Level 3: Youth generally appear relaxed while interacting with each other and tend not to avoid youth-youth interaction. However, some youth have difficulty interacting with the rest.
  • Performance Level 2: Many program youth avoid interaction with other youth or appear tense while interacting with each other. However, there are some youth who interact with each other easily and/or there are times when the group as a whole interacts easily.
  • Performance Level 1: Youth generally appear tense when interacting with each other during the program. It is common for program youth to avoid interaction with each other.

b. Youth show respect for each other.

  • Performance Level 4: Youth almost always show respect for each other by listening to each other and showing care for each other’s feelings and well-being. Youth rarely name-call, intimidate, or torment other program youth.
  • Performance Level 3: Youth generally show respect for each other by listening to each other and showing care for each other’s feelings and well-being. Youth sometimes name-call, talk over each other, or neglect each other’s feelings.
  • Performance Level 2: Youth often name-call, talk over each other, or neglect each other’s feelings. However, there is limited serious intimidation or tormenting between program youth.
  • Performance Level 1: Name-calling, intimidation, and tormenting is common between program youth.

c. Youth usually cooperate and work well together.

  • Performance Level 4: Youth generally share program materials, choose activities in a cooperative manner, and work out disagreements regarding the outcomes or rules of games without fighting. The need to share materials or come to a common decision rarely prompts fights between youth.
  • Performance Level 3: Youth often share program materials, choose activities in a cooperative manner, and work out disagreements regarding the outcomes or rules of games without fighting. However, fights erupt periodically when students must share materials or come to a common decision.
  • Performance Level 2: Fights erupt frequently when students must share materials, choose activities as a group, or come to a common decision regarding the outcomes or rules of a games. However, youth also display moments of sharing and cooperative behavior at some point on a daily or semi-daily basis.
  • Performance Level 1: Youth spend much of their time together fighting over program materials, activity choices, and the outcomes or rules of games. Youth rarely display sharing and cooperative behavior.

d. When problems occur, youth often try to discuss their differences and work out a solution.

  • Performance Level 4: When youth disagree with each other, their first reaction is generally to work out a peaceful and respectful solution. Physical fights, yelling, crying, name-calling, and tattling are rare in response to disagreements between youth.
  • Performance Level 3: When youth disagree with each other, they often try to work out a peaceful and respectful solution first. Crying, name-calling, and tattling occur periodically in response to disagreements between youth, while yelling and physical fights are rare.
  • Performance Level 2: Crying, name-calling, and tattling are common youth responses to disagreements with each other. Youth occasionally try to work out a peaceful and respectful solution on their own. Yelling and physical fights occur periodically.
  • Performance Level 1: When youth disagree with each other, they rarely try to work out a peaceful and respectful solution on their own. Crying, name-calling, tattling, yelling, and physical fights are common.

11. Staff interact with each other in positive ways

a. Staff communicate with each other while the program is in session to ensure that the program operates smoothly.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff ensure that other staff members are always updated as needed on any relevant information or changes while the program is in session.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally ensure that other staff members are updated as needed on any relevant information or changes while the program is in session. However, this communication periodically breaks down.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff often neglect to update other staff members on relevant information or changes while the program is in session. This communication breaks down on a regular basis, affecting program operations.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff rarely update other staff members on relevant information or changes while the program is in session. Staff are generally ill-informed about the activities of other staff, and there are frequent miscommunications that affect program operations.

b. Staff are cooperative with and respectful of each other.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff listen to each other effectively, accept compromise with each other on a regular basis, and generally show care for each other’s feelings and well-being, even when there are significant disagreements.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally listen to each other effectively, accept compromise with each other on a regular basis, and show care for each other’s feelings and well-being, even when there are significant disagreements. However, significant staff disagreements periodically devolve into non-cooperative or disrespectful behavior.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff are generally able to interact with each other in a cooperative and respectful manner through daily activity and minor disagreements. However, significant staff disagreements generally devolve into non-cooperative or disrespectful behavior. In these cases, staff often fail to listen to each other effectively, accept compromise with each other, or show care for each other’s feelings and well-being.
  • Performance Level 1: Most interaction between staff members is non-cooperative and/or disrespectful. Staff members generally do not listen to each other effectively, accept compromise with each other, or show care for each other’s feelings and well-being.

c. Staff see themselves as professionals and treat each other as professionals.

  • Performance Level 4: The administration, other staff, and program policies all support and encourage staff pursuit of professional development opportunities, both within and external to the program. Staff members regularly seek and take advantage of such opportunities.
  • Performance Level 3: The administration, other staff, and program policies are generally supportive of professional development opportunities. However, there are significant limits to this support. For example, opportunities are only internal or only external to the program, or opportunities are available but not encouraged and staff much actively seek them out. Alternatively, the program may be fully supportive of professional development opportunities, but staff often neglect to take advantage of them.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff have some limited access to professional development opportunities, but the administration, other staff, and/or program policies are not supportive, and/or staff rarely take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Performance Level 1: The administration, other staff, and/or program policies generally discourage professional development opportunities for staff.

d. Staff have opportunities for self-direction within the program.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff have regular opportunities within the program to determine their own goals and pursue steps to achieve those goals. The administration actively encourages this through program policies and communication with staff.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff who seek out opportunities within the program to determine their own goals and pursue steps to achieve those goals are generally able to find such opportunities. The administration is generally supportive of this, though they do not tend to actively encourage it.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff who seek out opportunities within the program to determine their own goals and pursue steps to achieve those goals are sometimes able to find such opportunities. However, the administration, program policies, or program culture create significant obstacles to staff self-direction.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are generally unable to find opportunities within the program to determine their own goals and pursue steps to achieve those goals.

12. Staff interact with families in positive ways

a. Staff make families feel welcome and comfortable and treat them with respect.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff greet families warmly when they enter the program space and encourage families to visit the program, including as drop-ins. Staff listen to family members’ thoughts and concerns about the program and the child and respond in a manner that shows care. Staff take steps to help family members be physically comfortable when spending significant time in the program space, for example by providing amenities such as water or adult-sized chairs.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff greet families warmly when they enter the program space. They encourage families to visit the program but are not always welcoming or accommodating when families opt for drop-in visits. Staff generally listen to family members’ thoughts and concerns about the program and the child and respond in a manner that shows care. Family members occasionally feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in the program space.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff sometimes but do not consistently greet families warmly when they enter the program space, and they discourage drop-in visits. They sometimes but do not consistently listen to family members’ thoughts and concerns about the program and the child and/or respond in a manner that shows care. Family members frequently feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in the program space.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are often cold or hostile to family members. They generally fail to listen to family members’ thoughts and concerns about the program and the child or to respond in a manner that shows care. Family members feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in the program space.

b. Staff encourage and seek feedback and input from families.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff use a variety of strategies to communicate clearly to families that their feedback and input is welcome. Staff are warm and encouraging when speaking with families about their feedback and input. There are multiple and varied structured or formal opportunities through the year for families to give feedback and input.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff often ask families how they and their children are doing in the program, and they are warm and encouraging when speaking with families about their feedback and input. There is at least one structured or formal opportunity through the year for families to give feedback and input.
  • Performance Level 2: There is at least one structured or formal opportunity through the year for families to give feedback and input; however, staff are not warm and encouraging when speaking with families about their feedback and input. Or, alternatively, staff are warm and encouraging when speaking with families about their feedback and input, but there are no structured or formal opportunities for families to give feedback and input.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff are not warm and encouraging when speaking with families about their feedback and input. There are no structured or formal opportunities for families to give feedback and input.

13. Staff communicate with families about key matters concerning the individual child or youth

a. Staff communicate with families on matters concerning the well-being of the child or youth. Staff work together with families to make arrivals and departures between home and the program go smoothly.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff communicate with families proactively and effectively on matters concerning the well-being of the child or youth. Families have full information needed regarding drop-off and pick-up, and arrivals and departures are smooth.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff generally communicate with families proactively on matters concerning the well-being of the child or youth. However, this communication sometimes is ineffective or fails to occur quickly enough after a problem first arises. Families generally have full information needed regarding drop-off and pick-up, and arrivals and departures are generally smooth.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff generally only communicate with families on matters concerning the well-being of the child once the issue has evolved into a major problem. The communication is frequently ineffective at addressing the problem. However, in most cases, families have the information needed in order for drop-off and pick-up to run smoothly.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff generally fail to communicate with families on matters concerning the well-being of the child or youth. Families frequently lack the information needed in order for drop-off and pick-up to run smoothly.

b. Staff provide information about community resources or other resources that address the needs of youth and their families.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date list of community and other resources that address the needs of youth and their families. They update this list annually and add to it intermittently as new needs arise. They provide these resources proactively to all families.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff maintain a list of community and other resources that address the needs of youth and their families. They update this list periodically, but it is not generally comprehensive or fully up-to-date. They provide this resource proactively to all families.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff provide information to families as needed about community or other resources. However, they do not provide a list of resources to all families proactively.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not provide information about community resources or other resources that address the needs of youth and their families.

c. Staff provide opportunities for families to share strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past. For example, families may share strategies that relate to behavior, learning, or health maintenance.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff communicate clearly to families that they’re open to families sharing strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past. Examples include strategies that relate to behavior, learning, or health maintenance. There are both informal and formal, as well as verbal and written, opportunities to share such strategies. Staff are warm and receptive when families choose to share, and they successfully incorporate what they learn into their work with the youth.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff communicate clearly to families that they’re open to families sharing strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past. (1) They ask families to share such strategies informally or verbally, and they are warm and receptive when families choose to share. However, there is no structured or formal opportunity to share such strategies, or if there is a written opportunity for families to share, staff do not use this resource or incorporate these strategies throughout the year. (2) Alternatively, there is a well-organized process for collecting written information from families to share strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past, and staff incorporate these strategies throughout the year. However, there is limited or ineffective informal or verbal communication with families through the year regarding these strategies.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff do not generally communicate to families that they’re open to families sharing strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past. If there is a written opportunity for families to share such strategies, staff do not incorporate these strategies throughout the year. Staff are sometimes receptive when families choose to share, but they generally fail to incorporate these strategies into their work with the child.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not communicate to families that they’re open to families sharing strategies that have been successful with the child or youth in the past. There is no written opportunity for families to share such strategies. Staff are generally unreceptive when families choose to share, and they generally fail to incorporate families’ strategies into their work with the child.

d. Staff provide opportunities for families to inform them of major changes in the youth's life.

  • Performance Level 4: Staff communicate clearly to families that it is helpful when families inform them of major changes in the youth’s life. They provide both verbal and written opportunities for families to share information about such changes at least twice through the year. They adapt as needed to adjust their work with the child based on these changes.
  • Performance Level 3: Staff communicate clearly to families that it is helpful when families inform them of major changes in the youth’s life. They provide at least one formal opportunity during the year, either verbal or written, for families to share information about such changes. They generally adapt as needed to adjust their work with the child based on these changes, though they sometimes fail to make adaptations that are necessary and possible.
  • Performance Level 2: Staff generally do not communicate to families that it is helpful when families inform them of major changes in the youth’s life. They provide one formal opportunity during the year for families to share information about such changes, but the value of this sharing is not clear to families. Staff often fail to adjust their work with a child based on information about major changes in the child’s life, even when such adjustments are both necessary and possible.
  • Performance Level 1: Staff do not communicate to families that it is helpful when families inform them of major changes in the youth’s life. There are no clear opportunities for families to share such information. Staff generally fail to adjust their work with a child based on information about major changes in the child’s life, even when such adjustments are both necessary and possible.