ERIC Number: ED333093
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
What a Difference a Recession Makes: The Rise and Fall of Integrated Services for At-Risk Youth in Massachusetts.
Useem, Elizabeth L.
This paper describes the implementation of an innovative integrated approach to the delivery of services for disadvantaged youth in Massachusetts, and examines the fiscal, political, and organizational factors that led to its subsequent demise. Massachusetts was one of the first states to envision and implement a statewide system of coordinated services for disadvantaged youth funded under the Federal Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 (JTPA). A state Youth Coordinating Council (YCC) was formed in 1983 to create ongoing collaboration among youth-serving groups, to eliminate needless service duplication, and to bridge gaps in programs available to troubled youth. Despite problems, the YCC succeeded in encouraging interagency coordination during the mid- to late-1980s in the areas of vocational education, job training, adult literacy, early parenthood, and substance abuse. Efforts peaked with the creation of Commonwealth Futures, a dropout prevention initiative. Economic recession and the departure of key state personnel began to severely weaken the coordination effort in 1988. Public education, the core of the youth-serving system, was ravaged by budget cuts begun in 1989. Support for Commonwealth Futures was withdrawn at the local level and most of the collaborative activity came to a halt. In 1991, the bulk of funding was shifted away from integrated-services dropout prevention programs. Organizational and funding recommendations for protecting such initiatives in the future are made. A list of 13 references is appended. (FMW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Massachusetts; Recession
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April, 1991).