The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center, in partnership with the Nebraska Center for Justice Research at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, are the external evaluators for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation’s Connected Youth Initiative (CYI).

The Foundation is engaging in an effort to help unconnected youth in 40 rural counties of Nebraska become contributing, independent citizens. Unconnected youth are defined as young people between 14-24 who are currently or have been in the Nebraska foster care system, have had contact with the child protective services, have had contact with the juvenile justice system (but are not on probation), or are homeless or near homeless.

The evaluation will capture key implementation, youth and systems level data to explore outcomes and variation in those findings across sites. The matched comparison study will ultimately examine youth-level outcomes across a number of domains, including:

1) personal and community engagement,

2) education,

3) employment,

4) daily living/housing and transportation,

5) physical and mental health,

6) permanence, and

7) economic stability.

CYI, co-funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund, will support six subgrantees in implementing the initiative across the 40 rural counties. The evaluation is ongoing through July 2020.