Do America's youth-serving organizations and afterschool program providers agree on the outcomes they should seek for young people and the indicators they should use to measure progress? Increasingly, the answer is "yes," and an important new publication helps organizations of all types align their goals in order to increase their collective impact.
A Shared Vision for Youth: Common Outcomes and Indicators, created by the National Collaboration for Youth in partnership with the Forum for Youth Investment, identifies a common set of youth outcomes and indicators that cut across youth work, providing a framework to guide programs, organizations and communities. That framework is built on Ready by 21 principles, including the target of making sure youth are healthy and safe, connected and productive.
Common outcomes and indicators help to move the field towards a shared language on youth development, which can foster greater collaboration and impact. Afterschool and summer learning program providers can use the outcomes to:
Articulate program goals.
Develop logic models and evaluations.
Develop communication materials.
Identify commonalities and common measures with other youth-serving organizations.