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High Stakes High Reward: How All Funders Can Make Critical Catalytic Contributions to Investing in the Financial Security of Youth and Young Adults

August 2, 2023

To support movement toward a country where all young people can thrive, this brief provides:An explanation of what financial security means for youth and young adults and what allows them to experience it now and in later adulthood.An analysis of the state of young adults' financial well-being today and barriers to it.A vision for what it will take to provide the necessary foundations of financial well-being for all young adults and the policy solutions that could move the needle.High impact recommendations for philanthropy to catalyze a whole-of-society approach to investing in young people.

Tipping the Scale: Opening Opportunities for Systems-Involved Youth

June 7, 2023

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)™ initiative aims to help young people ages 14 through 25 succeed in school and at work by building and expanding education and employment pathways. All youth participating in LEAP have been involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, are young parents or have experienced homelessness or housing instability. This brief shares learnings from the community of LEAP organizations and partners as they continue to deepen their practices to enhance the positive impact and durability of programming while also scaling to reach greater numbers of young people in similar situations.

Youth Voice In Community Schools: A Practical Guide to Advance Community School Strategies for Youth Voice, Engagement, and Leadership

May 16, 2023

Examine the voice, engagement, and leadership of youth in Community Schools! This guide serves to support Community School practitioners to better understand and create opportunities for youth leadership in their schools and communities. Working with participating Community Schools and students, this resource captures youth stories and insight to help illustrate how to build more inclusive decision-making and activate the next generation of leaders in our communities.

Unlocking Opportunities: Supporting English Learners’ Equitable Access to Career and Technical Education

April 19, 2023

Once considered a less-rigorous high school pathway, career and technical education (CTE) has experienced a renaissance since the 1990s, as more high-skilled and white-collar professions have been included in these elective course options. Research indicates that participation in CTE—especially taking more than one course in a single occupational area—is correlated with benefits in graduation rates and earnings as an adult.As CTE's scope and audience have grown, educators and advocates have brought attention to the need to ensure equitable access for historically marginalized student groups. For high school English Learners (ELs), who often face challenges to college and career readiness, CTE can play an important role in helping them stay engaged in school, graduate, and get on a path to a career providing a family-sustaining wage.

The South Has Something to Say - An Examination of Student Loan Debt in the South Part One: Atlanta

April 13, 2023

This paper series is an expansion of the Student Borrower Protection Center's exploration of the geography of student debt disparities and the economic distress that borrowers of color, particularly those who are Black and Latino, face in the student loan market. Research has increasingly shed light on the vast racial disparities present in the student debt crisis. Beyond rising balances and unaffordable monthly bills, student debt has far-reaching effects on the lived experience of student loan borrowers and the communities in which they live.In 2020, the SBPC published Disparate Debts, an examination of racial disparities in student debt burdens and borrower distress across US cities in general and in DC, Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco in particular. Expanding on Disparate Debts, this series, Student Debt in the South, leverages previous work to examine the intersection of race and student debt throughout the South, including efforts to highlight the burdens that student loan borrowers face in both cities and rural communities.As a part of the Student Loan Law Initiative (SLLI) and in partnership with the University of California Berkeley, we have analyzed proprietary data from the University of California Consumer Credit Panel (UCCCP) data on the far-reaching effects of student debt in several metropolitan and rural areas across the South. The descriptive and demographic insights gleaned from these data help us understand the local effects of rising student debt and borrower distress and to underscore where the student debt crisis disproportionately affects certain communities, particularly communities of color.The first report in this series focuses on the city of Atlanta, providing a case study on the effects of student debt on the Black middle class and the shifting impacts of student debt on communities of color over the past decade.

Youth and Young Adult Wellbeing: A Youth-led Participatory Action Research Project to Define & Measure Wellbeing

April 3, 2023

The Youth and Young Adult Wellbeing Measure Project Report provides insight and data from the youth and young adult researchers and displays each cultural design team's research process to identify key areas of well-being within their culture and traditions. It also identifies common themes of well-being across the three cultural contexts. This report highlights the origin and milestones of the first stage of this project, and more importantly, it promotes and encourages the field of youth-centered programming to center young leaders as experts in their lived experience.

State Strategies To Address The Needs Of Justice-Involved Youth Impacted By Collateral Consequences

February 23, 2023

Youth involved in the juvenile justice system routinely face a variety of repercussions beyond detention. Although some of these may be directly related to the violation that occurred, there are many other secondary effects that can result from their system involvement. These secondary repercussions, or collateral consequences, can negatively impact youth and their families upon even the lowest level of engagement with the juvenile justice system. Such side effects can restrict a youth's ability to recover and develop into a productive and self-sustaining adult citizen.To better understand the range of collateral consequences youth may face, NGA conducted a series of learning calls and hosted a virtual roundtable titled "Strategies to Address the Needs of Juveniles Impacted by Collateral Consequences" during the fall of 2022. This roundtable convened national, state, and local subject-matter experts to explore the breadth of collateral consequences faced by justice-involved youth, the challenges and barriers policymakers face when addressing these consequences and policy options state leaders may consider to mitigate the negative effects that may result when youth interact with the juvenile justice system. This publication documents these high-level discussions and highlights key policy strategies for Governors' offices to consider addressing this issue.  

Researchers’ Experiences Inform Recommendations for Funders to Facilitate Racial Equity in Research

February 22, 2023

Funders of research—including federal and state agencies, philanthropic foundations, and nonprofit organizations—play a key role in shaping efforts to incorporate equity in research. This role may include conceptualizing, designing, conducting, and disseminating racial equity in research. However, for funders to effectively facilitate equity in research, they should understand researchers' experiences with implementing racial equity methods.This brief aims to connect researchers' experiences and funders' work in racial equity. We interviewed several Child Trends researchers who have many years of experience integrating racial equity in research. We aimed to understand researchers' motivations for engaging in racial equity work, garner examples of how they have incorporated racial equity in their research, and determine the supports needed to integrate racial equity methods in research. Based on findings from these interviews—and discussions with our program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation—we provide key recommendations for funders to better support equity-focused research.

Leveraging the Developmental Science of Adolescence to Promote Youth Engagement in Research and Evaluation: A Guide for Funders

February 21, 2023

Effective, strategic, meaningful youth engagement has the greatest potential for success. Funders and youth allies who engage in the necessary planning prior to implementation have the greatest chance of working with youth in a way that best serves young people, programs, and organizations, and maximizes the potential for meaningful social change. This guide provides a tool to evaluate the developmental appropriateness of youth-engaged research and evaluation strategies.

Youth Engagement in Evaluation: A Guide for Youth-Serving Organizations

February 21, 2023

Including youth as partners in program evaluation is one way to give them voice and increase opportunities for equity. This guide is designed to help organizations partner with young people to evaluate and improve their programs, policies, and services. Young people may also find this guide useful if they have ideas about ways to improve things but don't know how to get their input heard.

Roadblocks to Workforce Inclusion for Young Adult Immigrants: Charting the Path Forward

December 7, 2022

Immigrant young adults represent nearly 10% of foreign-born individuals in America. Amid U.S. workforce shortages in high-demand industries, there is a strong case for public and private philanthropic investment to build immigrant workforce equity and economic mobility.Young adults under 30 with immigrant backgrounds are eager to learn and acquire new skills but face cultural and systemic barriers on the path to quality employment. This report sheds light on the unique challenges and lived experiences of immigrant young adults seeking to attain economic mobility in the United States.

Probation Reform: A tool kit for juvenile justice state advisory groups

December 1, 2022

Nationally, probation is the most widely used sanction for young people who come into contact with the youth justice system. However, because of the surveillance-based approach to probation and the high number of conditions placed on many young people, probation can result in young people going deeper into the system and derailing their chances for positive futures. Moreover, there is no evidence that probation practices that rely on lengthy court conditions and compliance-oriented practices are successful in improving youth behavior. In fact, research shows that traditional, surveillance-oriented probation is particularly ineffective at preventing or deterring delinquent behavior, with especially poor results for youth at low risk of rearrest.States and communities across the country are working to transform probation using new approaches focused on youth development. As jurisdictions look to the possibility of closing youth prisons, many are reimagining the existing probation system in a way that both raises the ceiling and the floor for who is eligible: reducing the number of low-level offenses that result in probation, while opening doors and looking to probation as an alternative in more serious cases. More probation departments are reducing the number of young people placed on probation by expanding and improving available diversion programming. At the same time, communities are looking at probation as an alternative for young people with more serious charges who previously may have been placed in detention or other out-of-home placement.Diversion efforts have been linked to several benefits including reducing rearrests or reoffending and avoiding deeper involvement with the juvenile justice system. Diversion also helps avoid harms that can come from experiences with the justice system, such as stigma and traumatization.State Advisory Groups (SAGs) are uniquely positioned within their states to help inform, influence and support policymakers and juvenile justice practitioners as they seek to transform the use of probation. Published by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, this tool kit aims to help SAGs better understand and support probation transformation.