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Establish a balanced set of goals and indicators for all children, youth and young adults


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.

Ready by 21 and Collective Impact

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Short Description: 
In this commentary, Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, discusses how Ready by 21 encourages community leaders and organizations to work together to achieve common goals through collective impact strategies.

Thinking Outside the Box: Creating Catalytic Partnerships to Change the Odds for Children and Youth

Karen encourages Ready by 21 leaders to create a "catalytic partnership to ensure that all of the community's resources, not just the schools, have assumed shared responsibility for student success." She reminds leaders that they can change the way they do business and that partnerships are key.

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Short Description: 
Karen Pittman, president and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment, challenged Chattanooga, Tenn., to come together as a community to change the way it serves and supports young people. In this speech and accompanying graphics, she describes the dynamic potential of catalytic partnerships.

Ready by 21 Indicator Dashboard

Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Short Description: 
Developed by Child Trends and the Forum for Youth Investment, the Ready by 21 Indicator Dashboard recommends top indicators reflecting a broad set of goals for children and youth. This is a snapshot of measures that are often found in communities, and it can serve as a quick reference for child and youth well-being across age ranges and developmental outcomes.

Establish a balanced set of goals and indicators for all children, youth and young adults

Taking the comprehensive approach is difficult but crucial: Improving child and youth outcomes requires attending to young people’s overall development. That means:

  • Setting goals across age groups.
  • Setting goals across various types of outcomes.
  • Ensuring that the goals and indicators are designed to prevent problems and promote assets.
  • Tracking progress, especially among those most at risk of not meeting the goals.

Here are some resources that address common questions:

Tracking Child & Youth Well-being

This commentary provides an overview of four sources of data for child and youth well-being and calls for more robust indicators to reflect the full picture of child and youth development. This can be used to prompt conversation about the quality of data in a community and how data can be gathered that is reflective of the ‘big picture’ of child and youth outcomes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010
Short Description: 
This report is an analysis by the Forum for Youth Investment of several studies on child and youth well-being. The paper outlines how tools such as the Ready by 21 developmental dashboard can help leaders be effective.

Bigger Goals Toolkit

When leaders band together to improve supports for young people, they hold enormous collective power – to do what? What, exactly, do they want to achieve? Now is the time to establish a common, action-oriented vision: A vision that conveys compelling goals and indicators for all children and youth; a vision that gets everyone going in the same direction.

Massachusetts Success for Life Toolkit



Local Action Planning Team Worksheet

To view the entire guide, click the download now button above

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Short Description: 
Lifelong success in the 21st century demands unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between and amongst all of those who care for and about children, youth and families. Success for Life offers a foundation for a shared mission to move Massachusetts forward. Using the Ready by 21 approach and facilitated by the Forum for Youth Investment, a cross-sector, cross-discipline, cross-agency team held a series of ground-breaking conversations to define and advance a shared set of goals and strategies capable of lifting all children, youth and families toward self-sufficiency and success for life. This guide features the tools and resources utilized for those conversations.

Dashboards For Youth

These dashboards offer a starting point for states, localities and organizations as they improve their policies and programs to better prepare young people for adulthood.


Sunday, August 4, 2013
Short Description: 
This classic Ready by 21 publication outlines a variety of ways that ‘dashboards’—simple two dimensional visuals—can illustrate the width and breadth of goals for children and youth, including the ability to assess whether they cover the range of ages, outcomes, and approaches (prevention, intervention, promotion, etc.).