GAO Releases Report on Successful Programs for At-risk Youth

A Government Accountability Office study, “Disconnected Youth,” found that there are a number of common characteristics among programs that successfully reconnect youth who have been disengaged from school and employment.

The GAO studied 39 successful youth programs and found that they share commonalities in four areas: staff and leadership, holistic comprehensive services, program design components and youth empowerment.

According to the study, successful programs have staff and leadership that develop sound relationships with young people and garner community support; provide counseling, health services, child care and housing assistance to their participants; provide a self-paced and hands-on curriculum that offers incentives for attaining educational goals; and empower youth through high expectations, clear rules on behavior, and encourage active participation in the process.

Programs that followed this model were successful in helping disconnected youth become independent adults through education and employment.

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