YouLEAD Youth Leadership & Skills Training

YouLEAD Canada (currently active in BC and Ontario), and YouLEAD International (currently active in Africa) are initiatives of the non-profit IICRD (International Institute for Child Rights and Development).

For project and training info, click here

YouLEAD is an innovative leadership and skills training program, supporting young people and practitioners working with young people and communities to become transformational leaders, and to facilitate sustainable development and the holistic well-being of children, youth and our world.  WIth it's land based programming and integration of traditional knowledge and wisdom, YouLEAD is specifically designed to support and engage Indigenous/Aboriginal youth and practitioners.


Our training programs

  • Lead with children and youth;
  • Start from strengths;
  • Build partnerships to expand circles of support;
  • Work from the inside-out- from individual to community engagement; 
  • Use the power of ideas to foster empathetic, evidence based, engaged action; and
  • Link community and formal supports.


YouLEAD encourages young people and practitioners to become leaders that question how they think, learn, frame, and lead in their work to support the well-being of children and youth and their families and communities.

In doing so, the programs focus on the culturally grounded development of:

  • Self Awareness and Reflection – such as reflective practice, listening, mindfulness and cultivating a practice for self care
  • Relevant Knowledge – such as understanding collaborative leadership and the link to traditional community and government systems that foster well being, holistic child development, human, community, and international development,children's rights and working with vulnerable children, youth and families
  • Tangible Skills – such as tools for meaningful engagement with children, youth, families, communities and tradtiion, listening and talking with children, youth and elders, strength-based reflection and inquiry, building unique partnerships and integration of positive cultural practices
  • Strategies and Approaches for Accountable Action – such as child-centred accountability, rights based indicators, working across systems, effective use of social media, and creativity and innovation


YouLEAD offers four levels of engagement that increase practitioner's employability and prepare participants for further training/education;

  • A community of practice through the IICRD Learning Hub to network and share ideas - online and face to face- on how to lead and support child, youth, family, and community well-being
  • skill recognition stamp program offered in collaboration with community-based organizations or schools  to acknowledge the development of skills or capacities that support leadership, child, family and community well-being and culture, and builds knowledge, skills and self awareness and helps young people access meaningful employment and/or post secondary opportunities
  • Specialized certificate training offered by IICRD with support from local and global experts, elders, and governement and academic partners. These certificate course are designed for youth workers and practitioners to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes in professional practice and are available at three different levels
  • Post-secondary accreditation  for students enrolled at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral level at Royal Roads University (RRU) or other post secondary institutions, specialized Leadership (YouLead) directed studies and electives courses as well as capstone/thesis supervion are available. For those whishing to access post secondary, YouLEAD faculty support participants to enter their field of choice and accredit their prior learning.


YouLEAD and Child Protection in Development are unique in that they:

  • Facilitate a deep understanding  of self as a foundation of practice;
  • Engage young leaders and practitioners, working with children, youth, families, and communities, as powerful agents of social change;
  • Offer evidence-based knowledge, skills, and practices to protect children, youth in the contexts of human, community, and international development;
  • Enhance the capacity of practitioners to understand and listen to the lived realities of children and young people in order to inform their actions;
  • Link community support systems with formal child and family protection services;
  • Support culturally relevant and strength-based solutions to address the challenges facing vulnerable children, youth and families in community;
  • Encourage practitioners to create unique partnerships, and exercise innovation and creativity;
  • Address both economic and social programming; and
  • Foster a sense of community through distance learning, mentorship, face to face trainings, and an on-line learning community.


• Youth Worker • Aboriginal Education support worker • Sustainable Development • First Nation health council worker • Business entrepreneur • Governance worker • Business/Procurement Consultant • Health worker • Child and family service worker • Justice worker • Community development planner • Ministry worker • Community Engager • Public consultant • Economic development planner • Socio-economic assessor / advisor • Education and Training advisor • TEK/TLU Coordinator (Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Land Use • Employment advisor or coach • Youth employment counsellor • Family preservation worker • 

BC and Ontario Programming is
supported by the Counseling Foundation of Canada 
in collaboration with 
youth networks, communities,
Government Ministries and Academic programs!