In Focus

Nov 25, 2014  |  PERMALINK »

Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth--Notice for Applications Released

Yesterday the federal government released the notice for applications for Performance Partnership Pilots (P3), an initiative designed to support the creation of innovative strategies to serve disconnected youth and increase their success in achieving educational, employment, and well-being outcomes. Awardees will receive $400,000-$700,000 in start-up funds over the course of five years.

The P3 initiative is designed to help States, localities, and tribes to overcome administrative barriers to serving disconnected youth by offering new flexibility in program and reporting requirements. P3 enables up to 10 pilots to blend and braid funds that they already receive from different discretionary programs administered by the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.  The Performance Partnership Pilots may present an opportunity for community partnerships to establish and expand innovations for disconnected youth; and to consider implications and new options available in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The application deadline is March 4, 2015 and the optional notice of intent to apply deadline is January 8, 2015. There are several resources to assist interested entities in their applications:

Dec. 1, 3:30 PM ET: Federal agencies will go over application requirements and selection criteria for potential applicants. Register here.

Dec. 11, 2:00 PM ET: The Forum for Youth Investment is hosting a webinar to help prospective applicants and interested stakeholders learn more about P3 and the application process. The webinar will provide an overview of the application process outlined in the solicitation, and discuss specific tools and resources that will be helpful in developing a quality proposal. Register here.

Nov 20, 2014  |  PERMALINK »

Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation’s Talent Pipeline

As a nation, we face a set of challenges that we can no longer ignore. The economic future of our country depends on the next generation of young Americans becoming ready for college, work, and life.   However, many of our young people are reaching young adulthood without the skills and competencies they need to succeed. Millions of youth are being left behind, disconnected from the societal and economic mainstreams, and falling into harm’s way. 

  • An estimated 6.7 million young people ages 16 to 24 are unattached to school or work.
  • Youth and young adults ages 16 to 24 face an unemployment rate more than twice the overall unemployment rate.
  • By 2018, 60 percent of all U.S. jobs will require some level of postsecondary education.

While we have made considerable progress in raising awareness about these issues and the young people behind these statistics who are too often forgotten, we still have much work to do.  Far too many youth and young adults remain idle and disconnected from economic opportunity. This is a complex problem that requires thoughtful solutions, and our goal should be to increase the number of youth who are connected to school and work. 

The Campaign for Youth recently updated Our Youth, Our Economy, Our Future: A Road Map for Investing in the Nation’s Talent, Pipeline, an investment strategy that offers a set of recommendations to help national, state, and local public and private stakeholders identify and invest in solutions –and leverage current philanthropic and federal resources, including the recently enacted Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The strategy offers seven overarching ways to bring these recommendations to reality:

  1. Make reconnecting our youth a national priority.
  2. Invest in high-need communities.
  3. Involve young people in finding solutions for their own generation.
  4. Build capacity to utilize research-based practices and knowledge to expand high-quality programming. 
  5. Create pathways to financial independence and social mobility.
  6. Develop work-based learning opportunities that are relevant to careers and have real world applications.  
  7. Create a policy and research infrastructure to ensure program quality and accountability.

Solutions are within reach but require strong public support, public and private investment, an active nonprofit sector, enabling government policies, and the collective knowledge of the youth development field.

Read our Road Map for Investing in the Nation’s Talent Pipeline.

Sign on in support of the Road Map to connect youth and young adults to education, work, and opportunity!

About the Campaign for Youth: In 2002, the leadership of national youth-serving and policy organizations established the Campaign for Youth to build a united voice for disadvantaged youth. Our mission is to lift up strategies that help young people who are out of work, out of school, and out of the mainstream reconnect and succeed. For information about Campaign for Youth, contact kbird@clasp.org

Nov 12, 2014  |  PERMALINK »

Access to Education and the Workforce for Formerly Incarcerated Youth

By Andrew Mulinge and Andrea Barnes

For youth who have been incarcerated, returning to the community is a difficult process. Youth must adjust to being back at home with family and friends while attempting to re-enter school or find employment. Unfortunately, many young people encounter major roadblocks along the way, such as lost school credits or inability to find a job. For youth who are also parenting, there is the added stress of being providing for a child. These youth need a range of comprehensive supports and services to successfully transition after incarceration and progress into adulthood.

Across the country, communities are utilizing federal funds through the Second Chance Act to deliver effective re-entry programs for youth. Passed in 2008, the Second Chance Act allocates federal grants to state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide support strategies and services that improve outcomes for people returning from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act (S. 1690), which is under consideration in Congress, would extend the grants for another five years, making much-needed resources available to communities.

Because juvenile justice systems are regionally operated, there are vast differences in data collection methods; as a result, there is no national data on recidivism rates. However, there is available information about the nature of juvenile offenses that sheds light on the needs of these youth. Of the 70,792 juveniles incarcerated in 2010, 11,604 (16 percent) were incarcerated on the basis of technical violations, such as not fulfilling the requirements of their probation or parole, as opposed to committing another crime. Many youth are also incarcerated for non-violent offenses. More than 3,000 juveniles are detained for “status” offenses, which is defined by the U.S. Department of Justice as “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy, and incurability.”

Programs that provide rehabilitative support for previously delinquent youth are proven to help reduce rates of recidivism. Between 2007 and 2010, South Carolina experienced a 17.9 percent decrease in its overall recidivism rate for all individuals incarcerated.  Programs funded by the Second Chance Act contributed to its decrease.

We know a lot about which have been successful. As many as 75 percent of incarcerated youth have mental health disorders and about 20 percent have a severe disorder. Thus, any program aimed at providing services to returning youth must address their psycho-social needs. According to a study done by the Peabody Research Institute, counseling interventions have had the largest positive effects on youth, with recidivism decreasing by 13 percent, followed by multiple coordinated services (12 percent) and skill building programs (12 percent).

Many of the counseling programs that have yielded the most effective outcomes for youth focus on group-oriented philosophies, mentoring, and had a combination of various types of counseling. However, programs that focused solely on disciplinary approaches showed an 8 percent increase in recidivism. For older youth, connection to employment or the workforce system is also crucial to preventing relapse into criminal behavior.

The Second Chance Act has helped change the lens of service delivery for formerly incarcerated youth. The demonstration programs it has funded show that addressing the physical and social needs of youth is far  more effective than the tactics used by historically disciplinarian programs. Second Chance Act-funded programs have kept youth out of the system and engaged them in school and the workforce. Moreover, they have also benefited society at large by decreasing the crime rate, improving public safety, and lowering state Corrections costs.

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