How Can Evaluation Support Participant Engagement and Service Alignment? Examples from Transitional Age Youth Programs
Session Number: 2043
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: continuous quality improvement, coordination, engagement, Non-Profit, Public Funder, Transitional Age Youth
Session Chair: Aimee Fribourg, MPP [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Discussant: Aimee Fribourg, MPP [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presenter 1: Sophia Lee [Senior Research Consultant - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presenter 2: Katharine Sidelnik [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Kristina Halmai [Specialty Consultant - YMCA of San Diego Youth and Family Services]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Krysta Esquivel [Associate Executive Director - YMCA of San Diego Youth and Family Services]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Sarah Duffy [Data and Evaluation Manager - San Francisco Dept of Children, Youth and Their Families]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Thomas N Lindman [Senior Data and Evaluation Analyst - City and County of San Francisco Dept. of Children, Youth, & Their Families]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (05:30 PM - 06:15 PM)
Room: Washington 5
Abstract 1 Title: Plan, Do, Study, Act: Using Continuous Quality Improvement and Emergent Learning Processes to Engage Disconnected Youth
Presentation Abstract 1:
The YMCA of San Diego County is the oldest and largest organization in San Diego dedicated to serving youth, as well as the second largest YMCA in the nation. Throughout its history, the YMCA has implemented a wide variety of programs designed to improve quality of life, promote the development of leadership skills, and provide volunteer and community service opportunities for young people in the community. Given the challenge of both initially recruiting and retaining TAY, who are generally more transitory, guarded and resistant to systems, the panelists will share how they have incorporated CQI and emergent learning processes into their practice and used the learnings from those processes to help them develop and test strategies to successfully engage TAY in their programs. The presentation will include sharing of tools and frameworks that can be applied by any program to help address program challenges such as engagement, retention and more.
Abstract 2 Title: Strengthening the Continuum of Services for Disconnected Youth: A Public Funder’s Perspective
Presentation Abstract 2:
San Francisco has been a leader in calling attention and dedicating resources to TAY, and recently created a special fund for supporting TAY services. As a result, in 2016, DCYF made its first round of pilot grants to TAY-serving organizations. Given that DCYF is new as a funder in this space, one of the primary goals of this pilot round of grants was to learn about what it takes to provide effective services for TAY and, in particular, how programs can build and strengthen coordinated services to support youth to advance along a continuum. The evaluation is grounded in the literature and seeks to understand the local context through interviews with grantees and a comprehensive TAY participant survey. This presentation will focus on how evaluation can help funders build and refine strategies to increase both the quality and alignment of services for hard-to-reach populations.
Theme: Learning What Works and Why
Audience Level: All Audiences
Session Abstract (150 words):
Can evaluation help chip away at the seemingly intractable challenges of engaging hard-to-reach populations and aligning fragmented services? We believe it can. This panel will explore how evaluation informs both program design and funding approaches that target disconnected Transitional Age Youth (TAY). In recent years, TAY have emerged as a developmentally distinct population that merit their own system of services outside of the general youth or adult populations. This increased recognition of the unique needs of TAY—along with dedicated programs and resources—creates new opportunities for evaluators to contribute to the growing knowledge base about how to engage and structure services for this hard-to-reach population. In this session, we will share three perspectives on how evaluation processes and findings are being used to inform strategies for engaging TAY and to foster greater collaboration among providers, highlighting lessons that can be applied to other hard-to-reach populations.
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