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Bigger Goals


Create a big picture, goal-oriented action plan

Create a formal action plan, or improve the one you have, to outline a path for improving child and youth outcomes. We talked earlier, under “Define common terms and communicate core messages,” about the value of giving people “a framework for action.” Now is the time.

A well-done action plan is more than a blueprint for workers. Leaders use these plans as calls to action, generating community excitement and rallying key players – from youth and families to business and philanthropic leaders – around the cause.

The plan tells the community that:

Youth Ready by 21: A Five-Year Action Agenda for Maryland


Monday, October 15, 2007
Short Description: 
The Maryland Action Agenda is comprehensive in scope and built on a holistic assessment regarding the needs of Maryland’s young adults. In developing this agenda, the touchstone has been to focus on a big picture result for all of Maryland’s youth – that they are ready for college, work and life by age 21.

Nashville Child and Youth Master Plan


Nashville, TN

The challenge is to move beyond fragmented approaches, toward citywide collaboration and accountability. The Mayor’s Child and Youth Master Plan is an invitation to the community to make a commitment to children and youth by working collaboratively to achieve the plan’s desired outcomes.

Nashville's 14 desired outcomes for children and youth

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Short Description: 
The Nashville Mayor’s Child and Youth Master Plan is first and foremost a living document that seeks to clarify and prioritize what Nashville as a city want to see and commit to concerning the well-being of its children and youth. It is also a call to the larger community to develop broader partnerships, set attainable goals, employ data driven decision making and engage in bolder strategies.

Supports Dashboard Facilitator’s Packet

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Short Description: 
Use this facilitator's guide and sample in a community meeting to help think about the variety of settings and supports that youth have access to and how the community's goals for young people fit into the bigger picture.

Program Quality Pyramid

In order to create conditions for youth motivation, needs for safety, belonging, and esteem must be met. High quality scores indicate that things are in place for youth to have access to key developmental experiences and to get their needs met. When youth needs are met they are likely to be motivated to engage in the program.

Saturday, April 14, 2007
Short Description: 
Quality in after school programming is defined by this pyramid. The pyramid is all about youth motivation to engage in the program. It reflects Maslow’s hierarchy, which suggests that we all naturally seek to learn and grow but that we have needs that get in the way.

40 Developmental Assets

The Developmental Assets are 40 common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible, successful adults. Because of its basis in youth development, resiliency, and prevention research and its proven effectiveness, the Developmental Assets framework has become one of the most widely used approach to positive youth development in the United States.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Short Description: 
Search Institute has identified the building blocks of healthy development—known as Developmental Assets—that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

National Research Council List of Features of Developmental Settings

The document provides examples of ways that programs can be categorized, from harmful to optimal.

Friday, August 26, 2011
Short Description: 
The National Research Council – the nation’s leading independent reviewer of research – identified eight important supports that promote effective education and positive outcomes for young people.