Youth Development

two young men posing and smiling at the camera

Adolescence is a critically-important period that sets the stage for success in adulthood. We leverage our powerful integrated data systems to examine the effectiveness of local youth-centered programs or to ask novel questions about experiences of compounded involvement with social welfare systems and structures.

Recent and Current Projects

Youth Employment

Youth jobs have the potential to disrupt cycles of youth violence and lead to better outcomes with regard to school engagement, other employment, and positive youth development. Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U), a non-profit workforce development organization serving youth living in economically distressed circumstances, administers a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) that provides work experiences intended to serve as a building block for future employment opportunities and financial literacy to youth in the Cleveland area. The Center evaluated the impact  of SYEP on young adult violent crime incidence, school engagement, and positive youth development. 

Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program

In collaboration with the Healing, Empowerment, Antiviolence Research Team (HEART ) based within the Center on Trauma and Adversity at CWRU, the Center is evaluating the Antifragility Initiative at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.  The outcome evaluation is focused on identifying program impact through analysis of integrated data, hospital records, and clinical program data. Adverse childhood experiences, resilience, and post-traumatic growth of enrolled youth who have been victimized, as well as program impacts on long-term outcomes (reinjury, juvenile justice involvement, and academic success), are examined.  The process evaluation involves interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders to better understand program implementation.

Youth Homelessness

The Poverty Center was one of three sites selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assess the capacity of regional administrative data sources to improve estimation of the prevalence of homeless youth in an urban county. This three-year, multi-phase project consists of interviews with local data partners in addition to complex administrative data integration. 

Reports and Briefs