Produced by the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice with support from the National Institute of Justice, this series explores topics that can help schools and communities successfully design and implement school responder models. A school responder model is an alternative traditional school discipline. The framework is designed to address the root causes of the student’s misbehavior and establish alternative pathways to meet student needs.

The series is composed of the following 11 episodes:

  • The School Responder Model Framework provides the structure of a school responder model and the impetus for its creation.
  • Positive Youth Development, Part 1, explores the positive youth development framework and how this approach can be integrated into a school responder model.
  • Positive Youth Development, Part 2, highlights challenges and barriers related to implementing the positive youth development framework, elements in schools and communities that can facilitate a strong positive youth development framework, and key principles of positive youth development.
  • Restorative Approaches, Part 1, explores restorative approaches and how they relate to school responder models.
  • Restorative Approaches, Part 2, continues the conversation about restorative approaches and how they relate to school responder models.
  • Self-Care and Wellness for Educators explores methods for educators to practice self-care and enhance their wellness, reducing burnout.
  • Understanding Trauma explores the impact of trauma, how trauma can influence behaviors of youth in schools, and how this impact plays into building a school responder model.
  • School, Family, Community Partnerships highlights the ways in which schools, families, and communities can work together to better support youth.
  • Law Enforcement Engagement discusses building positive relationships between schools and law enforcement officials.
  • The “R” in SRM discusses the role of schools as responders in the school responder model, or the R in the SRM.
  • Engaging Families explores the role of families as key stakeholders in the school responder model.

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) originally developed and maintained this podcast. The NCYOJ was operated by Policy Research, Inc. and operated from 2001 to 2022 and was formerly known as the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The NCYOJ improved life opportunities for youth through systems and practice improvement initiatives.

These podcast episodes should be viewed as a reference. They have not been updated since publication. A transcript of this podcast is available for each episode on the episode’s individual page. These transcripts have not been made 508 compliant. If you would like a 508 compliant version of an episode’s transcript, please email

This series was first shared in 2021.