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Improving Youth Programs and Outcomes in Washington, D.C.
Far too few young people in the District of Columbia transition successfully to adulthood by completing high school, earning a post-secondary credential and finding employment. As of 2013, 9 percent of all 16-24 year olds in DC fell into the category of disconnected youth â?? not enrolled in school, not employed, low-income, and with low levels of education. These are findings from a new report, â??Improving Youth Programs and Outcomes in Washington, DC,â?? by Brookings Fellow Martha Ross and education and workforce strategist Mala B. Thakur, formerly the Executive Director of the National Youth Employment Coalition. The report argues that the poor educational and employment outcomes among many D.C. youth programs demand a serious and sustained response by the city, funders, educators, nonprofits, and employers. The authors offer the following recommendations: 1) Invest in performance management and quality improvement at the program level, supporting organizations in rigorously reviewing how they can do the most good for those they serve 2) Develop a more coherent system providing progressive levels of education, training, and support services to prepare young people for jobs and advancement.
Creating New Pathways to Postsecondary: Evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation??s Postsecondary Success Initiative Executive Summary
This is the final evaluation report for NYEC's Postsecondary Success Initiative, which is part of the Postsecondary Success Strategies initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 
NHSA- Breaking the Cycle of Poverty in Families: Two-generation strategies for working with disconnected young parents and their children

Executive Summary:

"Over 1.4 million youth ages 15-24 are out-of-school and out-of-work (OSOW) and are raising dependent children.  When youth are out of the education system, lack early work experience, and cannot find employment, the likelihood is poor that they will have the means to support themselves and the needs of their children.  Too often, this traps their families in a cycle of poverty for generations.

Until communities offer multiple pathways to connect with ladders of opportunity, many young families headed by OSOW youth will be unable to achieve financial independence.  To break the cycle of poverty, many human service organizations use two-generation approaches with 'young families' (that is, families with children in which the parent is an OSOW young person ages 15-24 years).  One hallmark of these two-generation approaches is the use of strategies that address the developmental needs of the young parents, their children, and their families as a whole.

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA), an association of America's leading nonprofit human service providers, conducted an exploratory study of two-generation programs already in place within its member organizations.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) supported this effort, which sought to document quality two-generation programs and identify program elements that strengthen young families.  The study eventually engaged 32 NHSA members and affiliates in sharing their knowledge about two-generation approaches and providing connections to programs that re-engage young parents in education and/or work, nurture parent-child bonds, improve children's wellbeing, and connect families with economic, social, and other supports.

This report features case studies of two-generation programs, describes elements associated with successful outcomes, and recommends future work."

Cost Avoidance: The business case for investing in youth aging out of foster care- Casey May 2013
An argument for more investment in youth aging out of the foster care system based on the economic costs associated with bad outcomes from youth transitioning out of the foster care system.  Issue brief from Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative published May 2013.
Trends and Challenges for Low-Wage Workers
This report, released by the Economic Policy Institute in April 2012, focuses on low-wage workers- who they are, where they work, where they live, and what their future challenges may be in regards ti education/skill requirements, job quality, and wages.
Reducing Youth Incarceration Data Snapshot
This brief data snapshot (released in February 2013) on reducing youth incarceration in the United States is from the Kids Count publication, produced by the Anne E. Casey Foundation.
Evaluation of Waivers Granted Under WIA: Profiles of 12 Sites in Final Interim Report
This second interim report, released by Mathematica Policy Research in January 2013, provides findings primarily from the second phase of data collection for this study. The report focuses on profiles of the 12 local areas visited and provides descriptive information about waiver use in those local areas.  The profiles combine data collected from state officials about the waiver application and implementation process with information collected on site during discussions with local area staff, employers, and training providers.
Beyond the Numbers: Data Use for Continuous Improvement of Programs Serving Disoconnected Youth
This report, released by the American Youth Policy forum in December 2012, uses in-depth case studies to examine how three programs which serve disconnected youth are utilizing data as a tool for continuous program improvement and ongoing accountability.
Report on Vulnerable Youth - Background and Policies
This report, released on October 1, 2012 by the Congressional Research Service, focuses on the compexity of transitioning to adulthood for adolescents. Also, the report discusses "disconnectedness" along with potential protective factors. Finally, it porvides an overview of current fedeal programs that target vulnerable youth as well as the evolution of federal youth policy.
Back on Track through College in the Rio Grande Valley
This report was released by first Focus in August 2012 and highlights activities being undertaken in the Rio Grande Valley region to address dropout recovery and promote psotsecondary success.
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