Why are supports and opportunities the focus of the Community Action for Youth Development Framework?

Supports and opportunities are at the center of the Framework because they are the link between what we want for youth (reaching developmental milestones and achieving healthy adult outcomes) and what we can do for youth (strengthening communities, reforming institutions and services, and increasing quality out-of-school activities).Review our Framework

Research clearly shows that unless young people experience essential supports and opportunities for their development, across all the settings where they spend their time (family, neighborhood, school and community organizations), they are unlikely to achieve the outcomes we desire for them – economic security, mental and physical health, and good family and social relationships.

We know that:

find out more about "What Matters in Youth Development"Young people who experience supports and opportunities across settings are twice as likely to have good developmental outcomes, and half as likely to have poor developmental outcomes, when compared to youth who do not experience high quality supports and opportunities.

find out how you can Measure thisYouth who experience greater supports and opportunities in organizations stay longer and participate more often in programs, are more engaged in school, show more pro-social behavior, and are more involved in their communities.

The Framework focuses on the supports and opportunities that programs provide for three reasons:


Supports and opportunities MATTER
research shows they are the experiences that young people need in order to reach developmental milestones and eventually become healthy adults

they are important in and of themselves – the need to build relationships, find challenges, and feel safe is essential to every human being


Supports and opportunities are MEASURABLE
they can be assessed in rigorous and systematic ways

they are practical to measure in youth settings through surveys (young people can be asked about their relationships, about how safe they feel, etc.


Supports and opportunities are MOVEABLE
they are outcomes that individual organizations can achieve by themselves - unlike other outcomes in the framework that programs can contribute to, but cannot achieve on their own

they are outcomes that should improve when programs intentionally work to improve the quality of their practice

Find out more about Supports and Opportunities

Dissemination Guidelines
email:  info@ydsi.org
phone:  609.838.2636
fax:  609.581.1578
Youth Development Strategies, Inc.
4 Kosco Court
Hamilton, NJ 08610