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Evaluation of the Community Youth Development Grant Program

NCJ Number
Justin Brown; Regina E. Ygnacio
Date Published
July 2002
49 pages
This article discusses the impact that the Community Youth Development Program (CDY) has had on selected social and juvenile justice outcomes in the communities that have implemented the program.
This study was administered by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and included 19,443 CDY clients from 15 neighborhoods, with an expenditure of $7.3 million for the year 2001. The impact of CYD on school indicators was examined using aggregate educational data concerning standardized test performance. Results were mixed with participants in primary school having consistently positive results, and those in high schools and middle schools being mixed. Trends in reported child abuse and neglect, juvenile probation referrals, and commitments to the Texas Youth Commission in CYD zip codes were compared to trends in similar zip codes in the same counties. Reform in the Texas juvenile justice system in 1995 influenced later trends. For example, CYD sites showed a larger decrease in the number of Child Protective Services investigations than in comparison areas; and fewer investigations led a higher percentage of confirmed cases of child abuse/neglect in both CYD and comparison sites. Preliminary results showed positive long-term influences on young participants, and further evaluation is recommended. It is noted that the results indicate general performance benchmarks showing that key indicators for CYD sites and participants do compare to those for similar areas and groups, but causality is not demonstrated between school performance, child abuse/neglect, or juvenile justice indicators and the CYD program.