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CSSP Names Exemplary Youth Programs

National search highlights initiatives helping vulnerable youth to thrive 

Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2014) – Today, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) announced the winners of its national search to identify initiatives making a critical difference in the lives of youth who are in foster care or involved with child welfare systems.

Fifteen local, state and national youth and family serving programs that exemplify CSSP’s Youth Thrive™ framework have been recognized. The approach calls for developing five factors in young people (age 11-26) that help mitigate or eliminate risk and promote healthy development and well-being.

The selected programs are:

These initiatives will help provide CSSP with on the ground examples of policies, training and programs that operationalize the Youth Thrive approach. The information about what makes these programs successful will be used to help influence program and public policy change across the country. The programs demonstrate a wide range of strategies that engage youth and support them to succeed in school and employment, develop social and emotional supports and have lasting, positive connections to family and community.

Without effective intervention, research shows that many young people in the child welfare system will face serious problems as they transition to adulthood - higher rates of school failure, unemployment, teen pregnancy, homelessness, and delinquency – than more advantaged peers.

“These 15 programs represent organizations and agencies that are achieving outcomes that are improving the well-being of vulnerable youth by understanding their unique challenges, creating opportunities and sticking with them, no matter what,” said Susan Notkin, associate director at CSSP.

Programs were selected out of more than 130 nominees and were chosen after a rigorous process that included a written application and extensive site visits with staff, youth and families.

These programs will work closely with each other, CSSP and two jurisdictions already using the Youth Thrive approach in their work: the state of New Jersey and Brevard County, FL.

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