Building Supportive Communities for At-Risk Adolescents: It Takes More Than Services
Today's adolescents are at ever-increasing risk for behavioral problems such as drug abuse, teenage parenthood, and violence. But today's youth intervention programs are still the traditional fragmented, territorial systems of the past. How can these community and school-based services be updated and improved?
The authors of Building Supportive Communities for At-Risk Adolescents stress prevention, protection, and early detection and recommend an integrated network to address the comprehensive needs of today's youth. They profile nine of the nation's premier youth-serving programs, which provide a mix of educational, counseling, recreational, vocational, and leadership activities. Key chapters present critical, practical information about funding, implementing, and evaluating similar programs.
I. Service Integration, Adolescents, and Risk
- An Overview of Integrated Services
- The History of Comprehensive Service Integration
- Defining Adolescence and Risk
- A New Conceptual Framework for Understanding Risk
- Service Integration Initiatives
II. The Programs
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Miami
- Teen Connections
- The Belafonte-Tacolcy Center, Inc.
- Oasis Center
- CHINS UP Youth and Family Services, Inc.
- Houston Communities in Schools
- I Have a Future
- Garfield Youth Services
- Center for Family Life
III. Cross-Cutting Issues
- Service Integration and Other Cross-Cutting Issues
- Evaluating Programs Offering Integrated Services and Activities to Youth
- Financing Integrated Service Programs
- An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Conclusions and Recommendations
About the Authors
Martha R. Burt is a Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she has more than 20 years of experience with policy and evaluation research in a wide variety of areas. Much of her work has had a youth focus, including the areas of teenage pregnancy and parenting; runaway and homeless youth; and recently, rationales for investing in youth for the Pan American Health Organization.
As Director of the Urban Institute's Social Services Research Program, Dr. Burt has had the opportunity to work in many arenas. She has directed major projects on homelessness, including analysis of two national surveys. She has also participated in projects concerning violence against women, covering rape attitudes, rape victim services, recovery from rape, and sexual harassment. Currently, she directs a national evaluation of projects funded under the Violence Against Women Act (1994). She has also been involved in research and policy analysis regarding programs for severely mentally ill persons, hunger and social service needs of elderly persons, and child welfare issues.
She is the author of numerous articles and reports, as well as several previous books, including Over the Edge: The Growth of Homelessness in the 1980s (1992) and Private Crisis, Public Cost: Policy Perspectives on Teenage Childbearing (1982).
Gary Resnick is a developmental psychologist with a background that combines program evaluation, child development, and social policy research. He holds an MSW from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Applied Developmental Psychology from Tufts University in Boston. After receiving his doctorate in 1989, Dr. Resnick was an Assistant Professor in Family and Child Development at Auburn University, specializing in adolescent social development.
Since 1991, he has been a Senior Study Director at Westat, Inc., a private employee-owned research company in Rockville, Maryland. At Westat, he has evaluated HIV risk and drug use among National Job Corps enrollees; conducted a longitudinal study of 10- year social development among Israeli kibbutz children; studied stress and satisfaction among couples in the military; and codeveloped an automated administration and scoring package for the Separation Anxiety Test, a measure of attachment for early adolescents. He is Associate Project Director of the Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES), a longitudinal study of program quality and child outcomes among a national sample of Head Start children.
He has published journal articles and presented papers at national and international conferences in the areas of child abuse prevention, the effects of divorce on children's social development, evaluation research methods, the measurement of attachment in adolescence, and youth at risk.
Emily R. Novick received her BA from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City and her MPP from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in the area of social policy for children and families since 1984 for nonprofit organizations, for federal agencies, and on Capitol Hill.
In her current position as social science analyst in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Novick directs research projects and conducts policy analyses on the prevention of high-risk behavior among adolescents and on the promotion of positive youth development. Current projects involve analyzing new national data on abusive intimate relationships among adolescents, staffing a national initiative on youth substance abuse prevention, and managing a website on adolescent issues. Ms. Novick also recently coproduced a nationally broadcast satellite video conference on youth development principles and programs for federal Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities.
Ms. Novick lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband David and daughters Lily and Rachel.
—Lainey Collins, MSW, Center for Family Life, Brooklyn, NY; Social Work With Groups