Youth Demonstration Development Project

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

Many at-risk youth transition to adulthood without strong financial, social, and other life skills. With support, however, these young people may have a greater chance of succeeding as adults. Mathematica conducted a three-year project to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs to promote the self-sufficiency and improve the lives of this vulnerable population. The project aimed to inform policy decisions about possible future program approaches, demonstrations, and evaluations.

We combined theory, research, and practice related to youth programs to produce a universal framework to guide the development of programs to serve a range of at-risk youth, including young people aging out of foster care, runaway and homeless youth, teenage parents, and high school dropouts. We conducted an in-depth review of the literature, conducted site visits to programs and met with other stakeholders to discuss the framework, convened two expert panel forums, and produced several reports and a series of issue briefs on related topics.

The Mathematica project team was assisted by staff at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Public-Private Ventures.