ERIC Number: ED386581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Dilemma and Directions for Youth Social Policy.
Over the past 2 decades, a considerable and consistent body of evaluation evidence has accumulated indicating that the public policies and programs created during that period for disadvantaged youth have not resulted in significant, long-term changes in the lives of those youth. Data say that an increasing number and percent of youth are disadvantaged in their crucial, formative years. If public social policy is to help these young people achieve decent economic lives, its approach must be changed. For the past several decades, social policy has attempted to improve the long-term economic prospects of youth from poor communities primarily by means of a wide variety of discrete, short-term programs aimed at specific problems and age groups. Even when longer, more comprehensive programs have been tried, they have usually succumbed to funding and implementation difficulties. A better tactic would involve a developmental approach. Such an approach would include the following: (1) a practical, compelling, and limited theory of action; (2) a problem to solve and ways to measure its solution; (3) joint ventures between sectors; and (4) an emphasis on private involvement and capacity building. To implement such a plan, a new institutional vehicle may be needed---neither liberal nor conservative, Democratic nor Republican, but only representative of American practicality. It should be: (1) a special, public-private vehicle to test a new approach on a serious scale; (2) funded by diverting from current agencies that portion of their youth funding that currently goes to coordination or community process initiatives; and (3) required to establish goals and measures and report publicly on progress toward achieving them. Establishing such a vehicle may be politically impossible. That does not prevent new approaches from being tried, as they are being even now. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA.