Child Trends
Child Trends offers a broad array of research-based information with the goal of improving children's lives. Authoritative information relating to early childhood development, poverty, education, health, parenting, child welfare and many additional topics can be found at the Child Trends website http://www.childtrends.org/.

Child Trends and LINKS
Of particular interest is Child Trends' synthesis of what they have learned from experimentally evaluated programs in the LINKS (Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully) database.

Child Trends has generously allowed us to select three LINKS Syntheses fact-sheet publications of current interest for presentation in our Timely Topics series. Each fact sheet synthesizes the lesson learned from experimentally evaluated programs in the LINKS database.

Transition to Adulthood

The LINKS evaluation,
What Works for Older Youth During the Transition to Adulthood: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions, by Alena M. Hadley, Kassim Mbwana and Elizabeth C. Hair, March 2010, is a synthesis that examines the role that programs designed to serve older youth can play in promoting positive development and subsequent self-sufficiency in adulthood.

This review of experimental evaluations indicates that education and career programs can be effective, especially for low income youth and for youth targeted from younger ages, for example, those under age 18. Furthermore, specific intervention strategies, such as mentoring, case management, and providing child care for young parents, are associated with program success across outcomes. However, Child Trends noted that existing substance use and reproductive health programs have not consistently been found to be effective across outcomes for this age group.

Approaches that characterize programs that were effective across outcomes include:

• Programs targeting low income youth are often effective in the education and employment domains.

• Mentoring can be an effective technique for improving youth outcomes.

• Case management can be effective at improving education and employment outcomes.

• Providing child care for program participants has been associated with success across youth outcomes.

• Programs targeting youth early during their transition to adulthood are frequently effective at improving education and employment outcomes.

• Programs that were implemented over a long period of time were more effective at improving educational attainment.

• Requiring youth to take topically relevant classes may lead to higher levels of school engagement.

The fact sheet can be found at: http://www.childtrends.org/Files/Child_Trends-2010_03_09_FS_WWOlderYouth.pdf

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