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Synthesis of Research and Resources to Support at-Risk Youth: ACF Youth Demonstration Development Project.

Publication Year: 
Corporate Author: 
United States Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.
Mathematica Policy Research.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Public/Private Ventures.
Technical Report
Page Count: 

This federally funded report provides a synthesis of research and existing Administration for Children and Families (ACF) resources for serving at-risk youth. It begins by stating the key questions that guide the synthesis, defining key concepts, and describing a number of at-risk youth populations served by ACF programs. The following chapter explains two complementary theoretical perspectives on the needs of at-risk youth: the risk and resilience perspective that focuses on developing resilience among at-risk youth through improving psychological health, forming nurturing attachments with caring adults, and identifying role models within communities; and the capital development perspective that focuses on developing the human, social, cultural, and economic capital that at-risk youth will need to succeed in educational and employment settings. After describing each theoretical perspective, an overview of related intervention approaches is provided. Chapter 3 focuses on four programs or offices within ACF that serve at-risk youth, specifically runaway and homeless youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth who are noncustodial parents, and youth whose families receive public assistance. The funding streams that these ACF bureaus and offices use or could use to provide services to these youth are discussed, and one illustrative program within each bureau or office is described. The chapter concludes with a summary of the program models, the extent to which they focus on promoting self-sufficiency, and evidence of their effectiveness. The final chapter explores implications for conceptual frameworks. 4 tables and numerous references.

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