Positive Youth Development

Government Innovators Network at Havard Kennedy School

This portal is produced by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, and is a marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation. Browse or search to access news, documents, descriptions of award-winning programs, and information on events in your area related to innovation.

Forever Family

Forever Family produces mini documentaries and negotiates free media time on major broadcast stations. We produce these stories about children in foster care and about foster care to air within television newscasts. These stories are crafted to engage the public and mobilize local media talent both on-air and in community-wide promotions.  

Engaging Older Youth

Middle- and high-school students stand to benefit from strong after-school and other out-of-school time (OST) programs.  However, it is much tougher to recruit older than younger youth and make sure they participate in OST activities regularly. This study looks at almost 200 programs serving mostly disadvantaged young people in six cities that are building systems of out-of-school time programs.   The researchers find that high retention programs have five key characteristics.

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Character Education Program

The modules are designed to promote social responsibility and good character development to help students incorporate values necessary for high achievement by providing professional development to K-5 teachers, administrators and community leaders.  The lessons and DVDs foster students' skills in managing interpersonal conflict and give students practical methods for diffusing conflicts before they escalate into violence.

DrawSuccess 4 Students

DrawSuccess 4 Students is a newly-formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping students change their world in a fun and rewarding way.  In Latin "to educate" means "to draw out."  In the same way, DrawSuccess 4 Students uses a unique, experiential process (the DrawSuccess Game) that "draws out" ideas and solutions from student participants in a wide variety of areas, including bullying, career preparation and more.   In addition, participants learn how to improve relationships by discovering their 'inner genius' personality style.

Engaging Parents in a Community Youth Development Initiative

Drawing on a larger evaluation of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth program, this issue brief describes lessons learned about how to best engage parents in a community youth development initiative. It emphasizes the benefits of engaging parents who are not typically well connected to schools or other community institutions, including those who do not speak English. 

Engaging Youth in Community Change

This report provides lessons learned from comparing how seven communities engaged youth in community change efforts in the greater Sacramento region. It provides an introduction to the goals of the Sierra Health Foundation's REACH youth development program, documents program outcomes for individual youth and adults, organizations, and communities, and draws lessons for coalition development, youth engagement practice, and foundation practices to support community youth development.

Barriers and Promising Approaches to Workforce and Youth Development for Young Offenders

This toolkit aims to build off of the work of the OJJDP's task force on employment and training opportunities for youth offenders to identify what works in promoting economic self-sufficency for this population.

Agency Readiness Index

The Agency Readiness Index is a tool designed to help service-providing agencies gauge their capacity to provide services for LGBTI individuals, including youth. The assessment asks participants (who may include staff, board members, clients and volunteers) to score their agency on a series of questions by selecting the rating that best describes the agency's current status or performance.

Building Capacity for Better Results

This strategy brief discusses four approaches that leaders of youth-serving nonprofit organizations can pursue to help support and strengthen their  organizational capacity: build accurate overhead rates into contracts and grants, access funding to directly support capacity building, access technical assistance to support or improve organizational capacity, and form partnerships to share administrative services. The brief highlights the experiences of youth-serving nonprofits in using these strategies to build their own organizational capacity.