Federal Working Group’s Five-Step Guide to Evidence and Innovation in Youth Work

Photograph of a road map.

If you read the NCFY website regularly, it won’t be news to you that the federal government is promoting the use of “evidence-based” programs and practices that have a body of research illustrating their effectiveness at helping families and youth. We’ve covered the topic a lot here, including in a recent NCFY Reports issue, Evidence-Based Practice 101.

Now, more guidance on evidence-based practice has arrived. Our colleagues at the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, made up of twelve federal departments and five federal agencies, recently launched a new website dedicated to helping communities and youth-serving agencies put evidence-based programs and practices in place. The site also promotes innovation in youth services – finding new solutions in areas of the field where little is known about what works.

“A Guide to Evidence and Innovation” has five sections:

  1. Where Are You?
    You’ll learn to think about the problem you want to address, or positive attribute you want to promote, and about how ready your organization is to put an evidence-based program in place.
  2. Selecting Programs
    You’ll learn about how to choose the right evidence-based practice for what you’re trying to accomplish.
  3. Implementing and Adapting
    You’ll learn about how to put a program or practice in place, and how to make small changes that don’t affect its effectiveness.
  4. Monitoring and Evaluating
    You’ll learn how to take stock of how well the approach is working.
  5. Innovating
    You’ll learn about federal programs that encourage new approaches to youth and family services.
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