Youth Services

This portfolio includes evaluations of approaches for helping youth make healthy choices that lead to self-sufficient adult lives. Efforts include evaluations of teen pregnancy prevention and sexual risk avoidance education strategies (undertaken in collaboration with ACF partner organizations) and approaches to improve outcomes for at-risk youth.

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Projects on this Topic

OPRE launched the Youth Demonstration Development Project (YDD) in 2009 to systematically review the current field of research on youth development and successful transition to adulthood. The primary objective of YDD, which is being conducted for OPRE...

The National Domestic Violence Hotline Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page (The Hotline) and loveisrespect Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page (LIR; the help line targeted towards young people) are supported by the Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services within ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau. They are critical partners in the intervention, prevention, and resource assistance efforts of the network of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence service providers. They provide:

The Design Options for Estimating the Incidence and Prevalence of Homeless and Runaway Youth study developed a plan of options for estimating the incidence and prevalence of runaway, throwaway, and homeless experiences among youth, a plan for regularly...
OPRE jointly sponsored with the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) a study of subsidized summer 2010 employment opportunities for low-income youth operated with the TANF Emergency Fund offered as part of the American...
The purpose of the Family Preservation and Family Support (FP/FS) Services Implementation study was to evaluate how states and communities implemented the FP/FS program, the ways in which program implementation altered the pre-existing service delivery...

The purpose of the Healthy Marriage/Relationship Education: Models and Measures project, awarded to Child Trends, is to bring together experts in the field to develop recommendations for “next-generation” marriage/relationship education...

ACF’s Hispanic Research Work Group brings together experts in a wide range of content areas relevant to ACF’s mission to assist ACF/OPRE in identifying research priorities concerning low-income, Hispanic families.

This contract produced a series of research briefs on issues related to the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of families and children experiencing homelessness. The briefs were based on analyses of data collected as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Family Options Study Visit disclaimer page , a multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions on homeless families.

In 2007, ACF initiated the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project, a multi-site, random assignment evaluation of promising strategies for increasing employment and self-sufficiency among low-income families. During the project’s development, consensus emerged that the evaluation should...

The Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) is a multi-site federal demonstration project designed to improve permanency outcomes among children in foster care who have the most serious barriers to permanency. This initiative supports six grantees, each with a unique intervention designed to help a specific subgroup of children leave foster care in fewer than three years.

This project investigated how existing work on racial and ethnic disparities could inform more accurate identification and interpretation of ethnic and racial differences in programs administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Through this work, this project...

OPRE, supported by a contract with Mathematica and the Williams Institute, in coordination with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), conducted extensive work to identify knowledge gaps and propose research recommendations related to the human service needs of low-income and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations...

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant problem for women and men in the United States, with 23% of women and 14% of men experiencing severe physical violence by an intimate partner in his or her lifetime (Smith et al., 2017 Visit disclaimer page Visit disclaimer page ). Given the goal of healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs (which are administered by the Office of Family Assistance at the Administration for Children and Families) to strengthen and improve the quality of marriages and relationships, addressing IPV for healthy relationship program participants is of critical concern.

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) is undertaking a descriptive study to document the approaches and strategies utilized by tribal organizations awarded cooperative agreements under the Coordination of Tribal TANF and Child Welfare...

Effect sizes are increasingly applied to describe the magnitude of findings about program effectiveness across a range of policy contexts. Though more researchers are recognizing the importance of including effect sizes in manuscripts, at times these...

The purpose of the Youth Education and Relationship Services (YEARS) Project, awarded to Child Trends, was to better understand the services that federally-funded Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs are providing to youth. The project described the organizations implementing HMRE programs...

Phase I (2013-2017)

Phase I of this project provided evaluation-related technical assistance to organizations awarded planning grants for the development of interventions for youth with child welfare involvement who are most likely to experience homelessness...

Career pathways programs connect education, training, and related supports in a pathway that is intended to lead to employment in a specific sector or occupation or to further training. The approach is gaining attention as a promising strategy to improve post-secondary education and training outcomes for low-income and low-skilled adults.

OPRE’s child and family development work includes research and evaluation projects primarily concerned with child care and child welfare. This portfolio additionally examines the culturally diverse experiences of children and families served by ACF programs.

This project will help the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Children’s Bureau to identify and better assist children and youth served by its programs who are victims of, or are at risk of, domestic human trafficking. The project will summarize current understanding of human trafficking and resources addressing human trafficking in the child welfare population

The overall purpose of this project is to inform the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on its efforts to improve services for domestic victims of human trafficking.

Building off of the previous Demonstration Grants for Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking, in 2016 ACF’s Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) in conjunction with ACF’s Family and Youth Services... 

The goal of this project is to develop a conceptual model to understand the pathways to sexual risk avoidance for prevention of teen pregnancy. The model is intended to be foundational for considering how to empower youth to avoid teen sex.

The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) is the legislatively mandated evaluation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)...

The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) is one of multiple efforts at the Federal level to reduce teen pregnancy through the use of evidence-based programs. The goals of the PREP Evaluation are to document how programs funded through the State PREP program are implemented in the field and to assess selected PREP-funded programs’ effectiveness.

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee program; formerly the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program) was created following the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 (Public Law 106-169). The program provides assistance to help youth currently and formerly in foster care achieve self-sufficiency by providing grants to States and eligible Tribes that submit an approvable plan.

The Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) observation tool was developed between 2010-2014 to assess the quality of early care and education (ECE) settings for infants and toddlers in non-parental care—specifically, the support that caregivers provide for the social-emotional, language and literacy, and cognitive development of infants and toddlers. The Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care...

The goal of this project is to identify the economic savings associated with teens’ delay of sex. The project will engage key stakeholders to identify targeted research questions and to operationalize core variables. Prior work that assessed costs associated with teen pregnancy and births will be considered...

In 2013, OPRE commissioned four interrelated reports on self-regulation and toxic stress from a team at the Center for Child and Social Policy at Duke University. That team and other experts have since created multiple practice-oriented resources grounded in the initial reports. Together, these reports and resources comprise the ‘Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Series.’ 

The Sexual Risk Avoidance Education National Evaluation, or SRAENE, is a five-year project designed to address congressionally mandated Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) research and evaluation objectives.

The goal of the Touchpoints for Addressing Substance Use Issues in Home Visiting project is to generate knowledge about how home visiting programs, including those funded through HRSA’s and ACF's Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, engage and support families around prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use issues. The project will identify evidence-informed practices for working with families, supporting frontline staff, and building collaborations with referral sources. The project will also identify gaps in knowledge on preventing or addressing substance use issues within the context of home visiting.