"We at the ACF/Family and Youth Services Bureau hold tightly to one overarching principle: young people deserve our very best efforts to help them succeed in life," says Harry Wilson, Associate Commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau.
As many grantees will attest, it is challenging to evaluate the successful impact of programs serving runaway and homeless youth. One way to measure a program's success is to determine how frequently youth served make safe and appropriate exits when their residency in the program ends.
A safe exit from a basic center program is an exit to a home or shelter rather than to the street or to an unknown location. A safe and appropriate exit for youth leaving transitional living programs may be an exit into an independent living program, a residential apprenticeship, higher education, military service, or other destinations with positive opportunities. An exit from a TLP to the street, an unknown location, or a homeless shelter is regarded as an unsafe exit.
Here are some things that FYSB will measure and hope to increase in the months ahead to evaluate the success of its runaway and homeless youth shelter programs:
- The number of transitional living program youth who are engaged in community service and service learning activities while in the program.
- The percent/number of youth who complete the transitional living program by graduating or who leave ahead of schedule based upon an opportunity.
- The proportion of basic centers providing preventive and nonresidential services to families and youth in at-risk situations.