Across the U.S. there are over 5 million 14-24 year olds that are neither in school or working. Many are either homeless, in foster care or in the justice system. Aside from the tremendous loss of human potential if their paths are not reversed, there is the threat of billions of dollars in incarceration and social service costs. While there are many organizations that assist these young people, there are serious bureaucratic obstacles to their success. Agencies at different levels of government have a hard time coordinating with each other, let alone with nonprofits and community groups. There are gaps in services, data systems that can’t communicate across organizational lines, and an overabundance of regulations. The Performance Partnerships Pilots for Disconnected Youth set out to change that. It paves the way for innovative programs to cut through the red tape and remove the barriers to working together in order serve their clients in more effective ways.
Performance Partnerships Pilots for Disconnected Youth Round Three (P3)
Under the third round of this program, state, local governments, and Native American tribes pioneer pilot partnerships in the areas of education, employment and other issues for disconnected youth. An important aspect of this program is the flexibility to use discretionary funds across multiple Federal programs. P3 priorities include improving outcomes for disconnected youth in rural areas, Native American tribes, areas that have recently experienced civil unrest, and other communities aside from those just listed. Preference will also be given to evidence based programs that result in better educational or employment outcomes for disconnected youth. Programs that are in Promise Zones are also a priority. Applications are due October 31, 2016.
Resources for Everyone
Although there are only ten P3 opportunities, their purpose is to initiate leading edge programs that can be replicated in other places. Youth.gov is a resource website that collects information on best practices from the first two round of pilots from the Performance Partnership projects and a variety of other sources as well. Thus Youth.gov is a great go-to website for any agency working with at risk young people.
Evidence Based Practices
As we mentioned in previous articles, more and more funders, federal and otherwise, want their grantees to be involved in evidence based practices. They want programs to scientifically measure their results in order to support what actually works. Youth.gov provides several sources for those who want to familiarize themselves with evidence based practices for future funding opportunities and more result oriented programs including:
- A YouTube channel with an Emphasizing Evidence Video section.
- A program directory that rates specific programs in teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and violence prevention on their effectiveness.
- A summary sheet on risk factors for delinquency and known protective factors that can counteract them. For example, low academic achievement is one such risk factor, but creating bonds with supportive adult role models can help mitigate it.
- Featured programs that work such as Project U-Turn, a Philadelphia collaborative that seeks to reverse the city’s dropout rate.
- A Hear from Youth section which summarizes youth concerns from various national youth listening sessions.
Our Evidence Based Research Glossary
Since evidence based research is becoming increasingly important in the grant world, we put together a few basic research terms for the layperson. Just click below to access: