Developmental Relationships


 Igniting Sparks: 

Creating Connections That Help Youth Thrive

Dreyfus University Center-Laird Room

Friday, October 6, 2017, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


​Discovering what kids need to succeed

Developmental Relationships

Relationships are too important to leave to chance. Educational success and social-emotional development blossom when caring adults and supportive peers are present in young people's lives.

The Developmental Relationships Workshop introduces five core components of the Developmental Relationships Framework. Participants will learn practical ways to put these concepts into practice while strengthening motivation, persistence and other skills that are essential for success in school and beyond.

Search Institute has launched a major, multi-year effort to develop strategies and techniques to build positive relationships with kids. The institute's first studies have identified five common characteristics of developmental relationships through which kids learn to strive to be their best. These qualities are express care, challenge growth, provide support, share power, and expand possibilities.

Igniting Sparks: Creating Connections That Help Youth Thrive

Educators and youth leaders know how motivating it can be for young people to discover their "sparks"—those activities and interests that truly engage kids to be their best. Discovering those sparks can help students express their personalities and make unique contributions to the world.

In the Igniting Sparks Workshop, you will learn how to motivate young people in your school, organization, or community by tapping their "sparks", those activities and interests that unleash a young person's energy and joy. Search Institute research shows that kids who thrive have two important supports: knowledge of what their sparks are and adults who support the development of those sparks. Kids who know and develop their "sparks" - and who have adults in their lives to help - have higher grades, better school attendance and physical health, empathy and social competence, concern for the environment, a desire to help others and a sense of purpose.

Learn how to motivate young people in your school, organization or community by tapping their "sparks," their deep passions and interests.

Participants in this blended workshop will

  • examine the place of relationships in the lives of youth and the power of both approaches for deepening relationships between youth and adults
  • review findings from studies at Search Institute that demonstrate the connections between strong relationships and strong youth outcomes
  • explore the five components of Search Institute's Developmental Relationship Framework and identify ways to integrate the concepts into their ongoing work with young people
  • explore Sparks as a tool for building developmental relationships
  • become familiar with Search Institute's research on Developmental Relationships and Sparks with the context of thriving

Who should attend:

  • Youth workers and program leaders, summer camp personnel
  • K-12 educators, administrators, counselors, and staff
  • Parent and family educators
  • Staff from family-serving organizations
  • Members of collective impact partnerships and other community coalitions​


​Cost of workshop:

​Public Attendee and UWSP Faculty/Staff ​$59
Lunch and handbook included with registration for public attendee​s.

​Currently enrolled UWSP Student




Registration closed 10/4/17 at 4 p.m.

Professional Development Opportunties!

  1. Apply for Family and Consumer Science PDUs
  2. Apply for American Camp Association CECs
  3. Pending Approval: Apply for NASW CEHs


​Workshop agenda
​Learning objectives
Search Institute 
​Developmental Relationships Framework
​Igniting Sparks Fact Sheet
​Search Institute Store
​American Camp Association home page


​James J. Conway - Senior Facilitator

Jim-Conway.jpgJames (Jim) Conway is a veteran trainer and speaker with over 25 years experience providing training and consultation to youth serving professionals and volunteers in educational and community-based organizations in the US and abroad. He has designed and delivered major training for Search Institute since 1995. For the last decade, he also served as a lead trainer and presenter for Vision Training Associates. Conway has also served as a member of the national training team, National Institute on Out-of-School Time, Wellesley College, MA. Prior to beginning his career as a trainer and speaker on positive youth development, he served for 15 years in leadership roles of various programs for children and young adolescents.

Conway is a popular workshop leader having designed and provided hundreds of workshops addressing elements of positive youth development for a broad spectrum of organizations, institutions and communities. His highly interactive style mixing process with solid content insures that participants leave his trainings both informed and inspired.

Continuing Education Approvals

ACA Educational Endorsement Program

Earn continuing education credits (CECs) for the hours you spend learning in this ACA-endorsed professional development opportunity. Use these credits to track your progress, stay current with your professional development requirements or even verify your qualifications for the job you deserve. Simply complete the Request for ACA CEC Fulfillment for Attendance at an ACA Endorsed Event form.

Family and Consumer Sciences Professional Development Units

This workshop has been approved for 5.5 PDUs toward CFCS from the Family and Consumer Sciences Credentialing Center.

National Association of Social Workers-WI Chapter

This program has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers, Wisconsin Chapter, for 5 continuing education hours.

Credit Course Option  

UWSP students wanting to register for the one-credit course, HD 490/690 sec 88, offered in conjunction with this workshop must register for the class through AccessPoint or by calling UWSP Enrollment Services at 715-346-3300. Students taking HD 490/690 sec 88 must register for the workshop and pay the $30 registration fee at time of registration.

Contact Information

Area hotels - Be sure to ask if they have special rates for UW-Stevens Point visitors!
​Contact or 715-346-3912 for additional workshop information.
Call Customer Service at 715-346-3838 for registration assistance.

Cancellation Policy

Full refunds granted upon written request to when received before September 22, 2017. No refunds will be given after September 22, 2017. Substitutions can be made at any time. No shows are responsible for the full workshop fee.