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National Resource Center for Youth Services


For 50 years, The University of Oklahoma Outreach, National Resource Center for Youth Services (NRCYS) has been improving the effectiveness of human services through training, capacity-building consultation, and other services.

Over the years, our resources have helped to support the missions of a variety of human service organizations in Oklahoma and across the nation.

our services

NRCYS is committed to providing you with timely, practical resources so that you can, in turn, provide the best care to the children, youth, and families you serve. We have confidence in our services and resources, because every year we speak to hundreds of youth, families, and youth care professionals about what works and what is needed to help children, youth, and families grow and thrive.

Core Principles

All of the resources and services provided by NRCYS are grounded in five core principles for working with children, youth, and families:

Trauma Responsiveness>

Professionals in trauma responsive systems recognize the prevalence and impact traumatic stress has, not only on children, youth, and their families who seek services and support, but also on the professionals working within our systems of care.

Further, trauma responsive professionals then act in a manner to minimize re-traumatization, increase opportunities for empowerment, and facilitate growth and healing.

Lieberman, L. (n.d.) Walking the walk: Modeling trauma informed practice in the training environment. From Becoming Trauma Informed, Multiplying Connections Collaborative. Retrieved from:

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (2014). Creating a trauma-informed training environment. Retrieved from:

Youth Development>

Youth Development is an ongoing process that begins at birth. It is the process by which infants, children, and adolescents are guided by supportive people to build the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and experiences that prepare them for the present and future. The process should be seen as an ongoing, inevitable process in which the individual is engaged and invested.

When a strength-based approach is used and youth are seen as resources with contributions to their plans, they will be more willing to participate in the services and supports provided. Participation in and success at achieving goals builds confidence and a willingness to tackle more difficult tasks and goals.

Permanent Connections>

All young people need lifelong connections. The work of professionals and agencies is not done until every young person has a viable support system in place to sustain them in times of crisis. This may be family or other community supports.

Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion>

Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge, and skills along the cultural competence continuum (Cross et al., 1989). Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion requires that organizations and individuals:

  • have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally
  • have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the contexts of the communities they serve
  • incorporate the above in all aspects of policy making, administration, practice, and service delivery; and systematically involve consumers, key stakeholders, and communities.

Cross, T. L., Bezron, B. J., Dennis, K. W., & Isaacs, M. R. (1989). Towards a culturally competent system of care: A monograph on effective services for minority children who are severely emotionally disturbed. Retrieved from


The process of assisting young people is not just one agency's or one family's responsibility. Communities must work together to help young people grow into successful members.

Your Needs Are Our Priority

If you work with children, youth, or family systems, your organizational or professional needs are our priority! If we can't meet your needs through one of our services, we'll do our best to help you find resources that can.

The University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services
Schusterman Center | 4502 E. 41st St., Bldg 4W, Tulsa OK 74135-2512 | (800) 274-2687

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