eCONNECTION                                                                               June 2014 
News & Events

Next Steps for the Youth Thrive Network

The Center for the Study of Social Policy's (CSSP) Youth Thrive™ work continues to be enriched by the great ideas and terrific programs discovered through the search for exemplary initiatives. The March event in Florida was a wonderful opportunity to connect and mobilize. We hope each of you is continuing to benefit from the positive recognition and enthusiasm of this effort. 


CSSP is currently in discussions about future funding for Youth Thrive, while developing plans for our proposed next steps. While we do not yet have definitive answers about all the priorities and activities over the next few years, we do know that we will continue to build an interactive network of leaders and representatives from the 15 exemplary initiatives, the Youth Thrive jurisdictions (New Jersey, Brevard County, FL and future sites) and other key allies (including the National Resource Center for Youth Development, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative).   


In order to accomplish this goal, CSSP will:

  1. Continue documenting and disseminating information on innovative applications of the Youth Thrive framework. This includes writing an article on cross-cutting themes from initiatives and tailoring information about the framework for foster and resource families.
  2. Keep the network connected and informed through periodic newsletters (we welcome your contributions for future editions!), presenting at conferences and meetings hosted by - or of interest to - networks members and responding to any requests members might have (Need a letter of support? Looking to link up with other resources?).
  3. Develop and spread new Youth Thrive tools and materials, including a newly-completed Youth Thrive training curriculum for front-line workers in select jurisdictions, publishing a literature review delineating the research base for the Youth Thrive approach and refining and testing a menu of program and policy options for implementing Youth Thrive.

We also hope to tackle some of the more ambitious tasks such as coordinating in-depth work on specific topics (e.g., kinship care, youth leadership, evaluation) and additional in-person meetings and peer exchanges. And, whenever possible, we want to include youth voice - which means compiling information and materials by and for youth. Stay tuned for Youth Thrive developments as we move forward!

Around the Network
Reaching Deeper, Growing Stronger, Branching Out

Registration is now open for CSSP's upcoming

Strengthening Families Leadership Summit which will be held October 7-8, 2014 in Chicago. This will be a great chance to reconnect with many CSSP and Youth Thrive colleagues and to gain new insights and strategies for building protective factors in young children, adolescents and families. In addition to several workshops focused specifically on Youth Thrive, there will be opportunities to:

  • Participate in interactive parent and youth cafes.
  • Learn about integrating Strengthening Families and Youth Thrive strategies into child welfare systems.
  • Hear the latest developments in neuroscience and challenging perspectives on evaluation from national experts.

Adulthood in August

National Pathways to Adulthood 2014: A Convening on Youth in Transition will be held August 6-8, 2014 in PhiladelphiaOrganized by the National Resource Center for Youth Development, this conference is a great opportunity for youth, social service staff and administrators to learn about: innovative practices across systems and successful collaborations that promote positive transitions to adulthood; strategies involving youth, family and caring adults in transition services and networking opportunities for those who work with youth. 


Get Engaged
The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative's National Summit on Authentic Youth Engagement will be held August 5-6, 2014 in ChicagoThe key focus of this event is best practices and emerging approaches for authentically engaging young people as they begin to direct their own lives and shape their communities. The conference will include participants working on education, employment, finance, housing, health and child welfare.  


Tools & Resources

Expectant and Parenting Youth in Foster Care: A Guide on Effective Programs, Curricula and Other Resources provides comprehensive information for jurisdictions interested in achieving safety, permanency and well-being for expectant and parenting youth in foster care. This compendium of evidence-driven programs and promising practices is influenced by CSSP's work with four jurisdictions currently serving this population.
Twice the Opportunity: Policy Recommendations to Support Expectant and Parenting Youth and their Children is a compilation of policy recommendations for federal, state and local jurisdictions aimed at enhancing the quality of the policy framework for and services available to expectant and parenting youth in foster care and their children.  

Keep in Touch

Do you have information or ideas you would like to share with the Youth Thrive network? A link to a new report, resource, tool or great story? A question or challenge you need help solving?


Please send questions and any items you would like included in the next Youth Thrive Connection newsletter to Francie Zimmerman

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