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Improve systems and settings


From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes

The guide addresses a common problem throughout the youth field: We know that out-of-school time (OST) programs can help youth develop skills and attributes they need to be ready for college, work and life – skills and attributes like communications, relationships and collaboration, critical thinking and decision making, and initiative and self-direction. But few OST programs have the tools to effectively measure those outcomes. Finding the right one can be daunting.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Short Description: 
Everyone who runs a youth program believes in their hearts that their program helps kids – but in their heads, they know they need convincing data to prove it. This guide from the Forum for Youth Investment – From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes – updated from 2011, is here to help them get it.

Credentialed by 26 Challenge

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Short Description: 
The Credentialed by 26 Challenge (March-October, 2011) helps selected communities increase supports for older youth – with an emphasis on helping more low-income, minority and first-generation college-goers obtain postsecondary credentials with labor market value.
Age Group: 

Implementing Bolder Strategies 101 Webinar Recording

Click below to play.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Short Description: 
This webinar offers an introduction to the Bolder Actions standards and offers several examples of carrying them out. Broadcast on Aug. 30, 2011, the session was led by Danielle Evennou and Emily Jensen, senior policy associates, and Kiley Bednar, program manager, at the Forum for Youth Investment.

Improve systems and settings

How? By improving entire systems across the variety of settings where children and youth spend their time. Approaching quality improvement from a community-wide perspective helps to ensure that the good work done in one corner of a community – such as a school, afterschool program or gymnasium – is complemented by work done elsewhere in the community.

Here are resources that address common questions:

How do we improve program quality?

Youth Program Quality Intervention Technical Assistance Brief

Friday, September 10, 2010
Short Description: 
The Youth Program Quality Intervention is the basis for numerous improvement projects around the country. The YPQI follows the Assess-Plan-Improve sequence to help programs focus on and improve the quality of program offerings they provide for youth. This brief describes the YPQI, focusing on how it can be implemented in a city, county or state network.

Ready by 21 Quality Improvement & Assets Building Challenge Grants

Friday, August 5, 2011
Short Description: 
The Q&A Challenge is a research-based technical assistance model designed to help communities systematically assess developmental assets in a population of children and youth and then improve the quality of out-of-school time settings where these children and youth spend time. The Q&A Challenge represents an advance in community level efforts to align out-of-school time programmatic resources with community-specific profiles of developmental assets.

Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools, 2nd Edition

With the after-school and youth development fields expanding and maturing over the past several years, program quality assessment has emerged as a central theme. This interest in program quality is shared by practitioners, policy makers and researchers in the youth-serving sector.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Short Description: 
Program quality assessment and improvement continue to be central themes in the after-school and youth development fields. This guide compares the purpose, history, structure, methodology, content and technical properties of different program observation tools.

Making Quality Count: Lessons Learned from the Ready by 21 Quality Counts Initiative

Thursday, August 4, 2011
Short Description: 
The Ready by 21 Quality Counts initiative engaged leaders and intermediaries from 12 cities and states around the country with a bold challenge – improving the quality and reach of out-of-school time programming. This report provides an overview of key lessons learned and recommendations.