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Over the past several decades, there’s been a sea change in youth work. Through the dedicated efforts of service providers and researchers, we now know a lot more about the building blocks young people need to manage the challenges of adulthood. Lately, the field has been moving toward applying what’s been learned in youth programs across the country. We’re all slowly adopting an “evidence-based” approach.
Being evidence-based means your program’s services are informed by the most up-to-date research on youth work available. It means you are learning from experts and researchers who can help you measure your program’s effectiveness. And most important, it means that the youth in your programs are receiving care that has the best chance of improving their long term social and emotional wellbeing.
In this issue of The Exchange, we lay out FYSB’s position on the importance of implementing evidence-based practice in youth work. We hear from one FYSB grantee’s experience implementing an evidence-based program. And we learn about the flipside—partnering with researchers to show the effectiveness of the work youth-serving organizations are already doing.
As the youth work field moves toward a more data-driven model of care, NCFY hopes to engage you in a discussion about what works best. Keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter to share your successes and questions about evidence-based practice.