Community programs for youth have been a nationwide concern at least episodically because the New Deal if the National Youth Administration was a substantial star in the constellation of agencies made to face the ravages of the Great Depression. The New Frontier and the Great Society showcased a renewed interest in the subject, as a part of their 1960s War on Poverty, through such programs as the Neighborhood Youth Corps, Upward Bound, and VISTA.

“After-school programs” have become the present operative language among national, state, and local policymakers and foundations. The newest federally financed programs that started appearing about 1997 are located largely in colleges, staffed by school-hired personnel, and committed heavily to helping enhance children’s academic performance. The majority of the new funding is supporting programs in elementary schools, with some at middle schools. Almost none of the new focus is in the high school level, although there was also a brand new, smaller extract of funding for community programs to assist lower-income childhood in gaining entry to the labor marketplace. The new government funding was accompanied by some greater support from bases, both local and national, for infrastructure to help with staff development, research, and evaluation, in addition to program activities. A number of the foundation initiatives reflected a more three-dimensional emphasis around the family, schools, and neighborhood on youth development that the newest government attempts have lacked.

Although the recent surge of interest in out-of-school actions is gratifying, it is still restricted in scope. While a series of national policies on childhood development, for example, get-tough criminal justice policies linked to youthful criminals, exist in disjointed type, there is as yet no broad, favorable national policy for youth development. Even the new funding, significant as it is, is small compared with the number of children who want assistance (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000a). When there is one barrier above all others to an ample supply of high-quality community programs for children whose parents cannot afford to pay to them, it is the shortage of dependable, stable funding streams to support them. It seems that parents are still the significant funders of after-school programs, which means that many children, particularly those in lower-income households, aren’t served. The lack of consistent and sufficient funding contributes to other obstacles: untrained employees, low pay, higher turnover, and inadequate facilities.

FUNDING

Community programs for youth are funded in a variety of ways. The funding arrangement of a program often relates directly to the organization which administers it (by way of instance, if it’s administered by a private or public agency), but in the majority of cases programs patch together funding from many sources. The nature of program funding affects its design and equilibrium, which in turn affect the extent to which it could promote developmental outcomes. Is your program public, private, or quasi-public? What’s the yearly program budget? What are the primary sources of cash? If these resources are public, how much is federal, state, and local? For public resources, what’s the funding by sector (e.g., health–including psychological health and physical wellbeing –schooling, labor, justice, and agriculture)? If privately financed, is your funding primarily from philanthropies (e.g., foundations, United Way, a local business/service company ), membership dues (e.g., Boy Scouts), or user fees? Is funding stable over time or is it short-term temporary funding that has to be raised from fresh sources periodically?

funding and support program
funding and support programs

Programs face a variety of challenges associated with funding. YouthBuild, by way of example, has been between young people in leadership growth and job coaching through housing rehab since 1978. The program has grown from 10 to 4,600 participants and has received funding from several sources, such as Congress, federal agencies, and foundations. Because funds can fluctuate dramatically, they have also initiated neighborhood fundraising to boost the sustainability of local programs (Dahlstrom, 1998).

Federal Funding

21ST CENTURY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS

The campaign began with $750,000 in FY 1995 and grew to $200 million in FY 1999 (General Services Administration, 2001; McCallion, 2000). The CCLCs provide capital mostly to schools and school districts, in some cases operating in partnership with community-based associations, for after-school, weekend, and summer activities. As of FY 1999, the programs have been serving 400,000 children and youth and 200,000 adults (McCallion, 2000). Together with the brand new grants awarded in 2001, this program has significantly improved its support to 6,800 facilities, serving 1.2 million kids and 400,000 adults (U.S. Department of Education, 2000).

The legislation authorizing CCLCs stressed collaboration with nonprofit organizations and companies and focused on an array of activities much wider than academic supplementation. Comparatively, little cooperation exists in practice, however, and academic attention predominated the majority of the initial phase of funded programs. The majority of the sites are rather new because the program first received substantial funding in FY 1998. It seems that much more enrichment and cooperation are occurring as the sites are gaining experience. The U.S. Department of Education, which administers the program, has contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a four-year test nonetheless, there is no outcome information as yet (McCallion, 2000).

The Clinton administration reauthorized the program in 1999 using the following new provisions: permitting grants for up to five decades, requiring local matching grants, making nonprofit organizations eligible for up to 10 percent of their grants (with the concurrence of their local school district), and targeting licenses specifically to inner cities, small cities, and rural locations. Many in Congress have indicated that since the program gets bigger, it will get unwieldy to require applications directly to Washington, D.C. Instead, they have suggested that the program ought to be converted to a formula mechanics, that would decentralize decisions about grantees to the state or the neighborhood degree (McCallion, 2000).

Programs include a variety of approaches. Michigan State University, by way of instance, received an $8.2 million CCLC grant to expand its Kids Learning in Computer Clubhouses (KLICK!) Program from 9 to 20 middle schools across the country, and from 1,600 to 11,000 students. The program supplies low-income pupils to experience with computers, digital equipment, and robotics (Girod and Zhao, 2000). Good Shepherd Services, a respected youth-serving agency in Brooklyn, New York, received $865,015 to enlarge its work in four low-income basic schools, allowing it to offer Saturday programming, to upgrade its computer training tasks, and to add more activities and services for parents (Gonzalez, 2000).

A substantial partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has become crucial to the implementation of this CCLC program. Mott has committed almost $100 million within seven years (started in 1997) to two entities offering instruction and assistance to CCLC applicants and grantees and the Afterschool Alliance, an alliance of government and private-sector partners who are devoted to raising public awareness of the need for these programs (Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, 2001).

YOUTH OPPORTUNITY GRANTS

A second, important new pool of pertinent federal funding is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Youth Opportunity Grants, added in FY 2000 at a level of $250 million. This new program was funded at $375 million for FY 2001 (Lordeman, 1998). Aimed at 14- to 21-year-olds, especially those who have not completed high school, the program has a few dimensions of a childhood development program. Each of the 3 dozen grants (some urban, some rural, and some involving American Indians) entails a partnership of training and employment and other public agencies, public colleges and community schools, community-based associations, and private companies. Depending on the experience of over three decades of youth employment programs, its actions are comprehensive, such as participant outreach for skills and interpersonal training, job placement, commitments from companies to employ these young adults, and ongoing support for them after they’re in work (Brown, 1999).

The city of Los Angeles, for example, has received a grant for $11 billion, renewable for a total of up to $44 million over five years, to offer services to youth at the high-poverty regions in Watts and the Eastside of the city, where there is a disproportionate number of public housing residents. The programs are located in existing youth centers and rely on the participation of diverse public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies focused on employment and training, education, housing, law enforcement, social services, and community improvement (U.S. Department of Labor, 2000).

WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT

As part of this repackaging of national employment and training programs in 1998, the longstanding summer jobs program and the considerably smaller pot of funds for year-round youth job training were consolidated from the Workforce Investment Act. Funded at a total of $1 billion, the program offers the chance of new approaches for at-risk childhood to combine summer work experience using yearlong activities in ways that introduce an academic component in the summertime and yearlong exposure to the area of work. The act was based on principles of childhood development and involves training, community service, leadership development, positive peer-centered activities, and long term follow-up components. The new local Workforce Investment Boards were created by the action to replace the previous Private Industry Councils as distributors of their funds. They are required to set youth councils to advise on a youth strategy, and 30 percent of their funds must be invested in out-of-school childhood (Institute for Youth Development, 2000; Brown, 1999). Where Youth Opportunity Grant funds have been granted, Workforce Investment Act youth funding can be added to enrich programs and reach more young people.

AMERICORPS

Building on long-standing programs like VISTA and Foster Grandparents and on initiatives started through the George H.W.Bush management (1988–1992), the Corporation for National and Community Service–which administers the Americorps Program–has grown to provide over $500 million yearly in a series of programs that both involve and serve young people (General Services Administration, 2001; Institute for Youth Development, 2000). In many communities, there are youth-serving programs financed by Americorps (as well as the VISTA elements of the business’s programs). Very often the team members in those programs incorporate young people (junior and senior high school students) in the low-income neighborhood or area being served. Occasionally they’re a youth who dropped out of school and therefore are in Americorps as members of bridge programs to finish high school and continue into the job market. For many, these bridge programs are a path out of welfare. A substantial percentage of these activities have origins in the sorts of positive youth development activities stressed throughout this report.

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) was created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and has been the successor to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or welfare (Reder, 2000). As a block grant, the $16 billion is available annually to the countries for a wide variety of purposes, including community programs for youth. Therefore, whether the exact objective is child care for school-age children and childhood or prevention of adolescent pregnancy or welfare receipt, TANF is a significant source of funding for community programs for youth (Kaplan and Sachs, 1999). Professional groups like the Center on Law and Social Policy (Greenberg, 1998) along with also the Finance Project (Flynn, 1999) have authored and distributed handbooks explaining how TANF funds may be used to get out-of-school-hours programs.

Though only a relatively small part of these funds are being used for community programs for childhood, the simple fact that after-school child care now is critical to successful welfare-to-work plans opens the chance for substantial funding for community programs for youth through this source. Some counties and states have used funds in this manner. Los Angeles County allocated $74 million of combined TANF and state welfare funds to get an after-school program that was slated to function in 225 elementary schools and 40 middle schools by fall 2000. Los Angeles County is currently using $35 million for a Community-Based Teen Services Program to reach youth in 35 high school areas with large percentages of TANF recipients, as well as $13.5 million to provide summer jobs to 9,000 young people from TANF families (Flynn, 1999). In the same way, Illinois is using TANF funds to pay for about a third of its $18.5 million Teen REACH program, a model childhood development and pregnancy and substance misuse prevention program which includes academic assistance, recreation, mentoring, and life skills training. The program was in 75 websites at the end of 1999, including both schools and nonprofit organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, attaining an estimated 34,000 youth ages 10 to 17 (Flynn, 1999; Cohen and Greenberg, 2000). Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin, as well as Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), Philadelphia, and Washington County, Ohio, use TANF funds to help fund after-school and summer programs, adolescent pregnancy prevention programs (Flynn, 1999; Cohen and Greenberg, 2000), along with Youth Corps and Conservation Corps programs (Cohen, 2000a).

OTHER FEDERAL PROGRAMS

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been a pioneer in public programs for youth, with its decades-old 4-H program. Begun as a means to involve farm and other rural youth in community activities, 4-H now runs programs in urban areas, leading to positive results for millions of young people each year. A unique appropriation through USDA for a national Children, Youth, and Families at Risk initiative enable 4-H to concentrate particular activities on at-risk families and youth (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2001). The USDA is also an important source of funding for meals and snacks for kids participating in many different community programs for youth, for example, schools (Langford, 2000a; Wilgoren, 2000). The 4-H program receives support from a blend of national, state, and local public funding.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is a substantial supplier of community programs for youth. Most of that which it offers for youth stems from block or formula grants to states that can be used for community programs for youth or more technical program grants administered from Washington, D.C., for these pursuits. One of the 26 permissible purposes of Byrne grants is gang avoidance, and about $12 million of their Byrne funds went to the gang and crime prevention in FY 1998 (General Services Administration, 2001; Reder, 2000). Even though the spirit of the legislation is targeted toward enforcement activities, the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants can be used for prevention programs. But some states and localities are loath to use these funds since they’re required to enact or certify that they are considering prosecution of additional juveniles as adults, graduated sanctions, along with the introduction of juvenile records. The longstanding JJDP formula grant provides another source of funds for such community prevention programs.

The smaller specialized programs financed directly from Washington, D.C., including the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) ($12 million in FY 2000), the Weed and Seed Program ($32 million in FY 2000), the distinctive emphasis portion of the JJDP program ($23.8 million in FY 2000), the Tribal Youth Program ($12.5 million in FY 2000), the Gang-Free Schools and Communities Program ($16.9 million in FY 2000), plus a specific appropriation of $50 million for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (up from $40 million in FY 1999) (General Services Administration, 2001).

DOJ, notably during the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), has taken a special interest in the past few years in sparking the production of community programs for youth. OJJDP sponsored SafeFutures demonstration projects in six websites that sought to connect research findings of risk and protective factors for youth with the best current program knowledge about juvenile delinquency prevention. SafeFutures stressed collaboration among key community bureau players in young people’s lifestyles (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1998). Begun at the end of this George H.W.Bush government and expanded the next year, this program worked in five sites to make multiagency networks to function 11- to 13-year-olds who fulfilled specified risk standards. Both efforts included the colocation of staff, individualized case management with additional training for case managers, parental involvement, mentoring, and careful monitoring of day-to-day operations (Harrell et al., 1999).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Its HOPE VI program for revitalization and demolition of severely distressed public housing ($1.25 billion in FY 2000) allows up to 15% of each grant to be used for community and supportive services programs for the youth. Other reports for public housing include funding for solutions that have community programs for children who live in public housing. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant ($4.2 billion in FY 2000, is employed to support community programs for youth.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

In addition to the CCLCs, the U.S. Department of Education provides several other funding opportunities relevant to community programs for youth. Up to 5 percent of the $7.9 billion Title I program of compensatory education for low-income children can be used for coordinated services (General Services Administration, 2001). Bilingual education and Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds are sometimes used for programs provided outside the typical school day and year. The secure and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act distributes funds through a formula grant ($439 million in FY 2000) and a discretionary pool ($90 million in FY 2000) (General Services Administration, 2001; Fairman, 2000). This program has been criticized for failing to produce quantifiable results. Nevertheless, it has survived numerous attempts to cut its funding (Cooper, 2000; Frammolino, 1998) since it’s highly popular with college administrators. This popularity comes from the fact that it provides flexible funding for schools to tackle a wide variety of actions in the name of violence and drug prevention. This flexibility makes it a helpful source of funds for entrepreneurial local program operators. Another program experiencing expansion in recent years is Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) ($200 million in FY 2000). This program offers college prep activities for middle school students through partnerships between faculty and other community-based organizations (General Services Administration, 2001).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Additional Department of Labor funding applicable to community programs for youth comes via the Job Corps and the School-to-Work Programs. The Job Corps ($1.3 billion in FY 2000) serves noninvasive youth ages 16 to 24 mostly in Job Corps centers frequently located beyond the communities of its participants (Lordeman, 1998; Richardson and House, 1999). The school-to-work programs offer seed money to get new school-to-work systems into position. These programs typically involve community partnerships involving community organizations colleges and companies. It’s funding, conceived as a first stimulus to the nations, is about to finish (Reder, 2000).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) offers numerous block grants which can be used for community programs for the youth. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) block grant ($1.5 billion in FY 2000), as an example, requires a proportion of its capital to be spent on prevention; in many localities, community programs for youth have drawn on these funds for activities associated with substance abuse prevention grants. Many agencies financed by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) ($527.7 million in FY 2000) serve youth (General Services Administration, 2001). For example, community action agencies initially created as a member of the War on Poverty, receive some of their funding under the CSBG.

Entitlement programs administered by DHHS also provide chances to states for support of community programs for youth. For instance, Oregon, Tennessee, and other states have reorganized their Medicaid programs to obtain”section 1115 waivers,” that permit the nations to fund prevention and health promotion efforts at the community level in these areas as teen pregnancy, childbirth, and alcohol and drug misuse (English, 1997).

States can also reorganize their child welfare defense systems and deploy national Title IV-E (of the Social Security Act) funds from out-of-home maintenance to community programs. The architects of the first Beacons Schools in New York City discovered that they may use Title IV-E capital as a partial financing source since so many of the kids projected to engage were at risk of being removed from their homes for negligence or misuse (Alliance for Redesigning Government, 2001). Likewise, because it was organizing and coordinating local and school-based solutions which were keeping kids from foster care, the Local Investment Commission of Greater Kansas City, Inc., in combination with its community-based partner organizations, utilized Title IV-E to recover some of its administrative prices (Center for the Study of Social Policy, 2001).

DHHS categorical programs are significant, too. Many of the clinics funded by this program specify their responsibility to childhood to add broad-based public health actions. Consequently, they offer not only healthcare and reproductive health services, but also services and activities created to support the positive development of their participants. The CHC program is broadly considered very successful; one reason behind the success is the joys of funding it has provided to grantees. Another, smaller attempt with comparable funding continuity is that the Runaway and Homeless Youth program ($43.6 million in FY 2000). Established in 1974, it has funded a lot of its grantees continuously since that time. Like the CHCs, these programs normally receive funding from multiple private and public sources, but the funding they get from DHHS is a stable base that permits them to survive changes in other fund sources.

CDC awarded nearly $3.3 million multiyear cooperative arrangements to 13 public programs, in addition to provided technical assistance and training. The plan of their partnership programs is based on the premise that young men and women that are having success, are optimistic about their futures and are supported by their communities will postpone pregnancy and childbearing.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

In September 2000, as the 106th Congress was drawing to a close, a bill was introduced that, if enacted, has the promise of supplying a steady source of federal funding to support the introduction of a constructive and coherent national youth policy. Founded by Senator James Jeffords of Vermont, with the cosponsorship of Senators Max Cleland of Georgia, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Ted Stevens of Alaska, when in full operation it would provide $2 billion annually for youth development programs selected by a local community board which contains young people as one-third of its membership. The bill would also create a federal advisory committee to help coordinate youth coverage on a national level (National Youth Development Information Center, 2000a). Former Senator Nancy Kassebaum promoted a similar idea in the early 1990s–that the Youth Development Block Grant–as part of their Young Americans Act, but couldn’t gather enough momentum to have it funded (Kassebaum, 1995). This action called for a national youth policy which ensures that the rights of young people and promotes the growth of a continuum of necessary educational, health, and social services for young people whose families cannot ensure their well-being.

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