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Process and Outcome Evaluation of the 4-H Mentoring/Youth and Families with Promise (YFP) Program

NCJ Number
Mary E. Poulin; Stan Orchowsky
Date Published
March 2012
205 pages
This report presents the results and methodology of a process and outcome evaluation of Utah's 4-H Mentoring/Youth and Families With Promise (YFP) program, which is a statewide mentoring program designed for at-risk youth who are 10-14 years old.
The outcome evaluation found no evidence that the YFP program improved participating youths' academic performance, strengthened family relationships, or prevented delinquency. The process evaluation found that the program's implementation deviated significantly from documented program guidelines, and required program "dosage" was not always provided. Once these issues with program implementation have been addressed, however, another evaluation of YFP might be considered. The program is intended to pair youths with mentors, involve them in 4-H activities, and provide opportunities for youth to participate with their families in activities designed to strengthen family bonds. The evaluation methodology addressed the characteristics of the population served, the type and dosage of program activities, mentor-mentee relationships, satisfaction with the program, the involvement of youths' family members in the program, characteristics of mentors, and issues related to the youths' length of stay in the program. Although there was significant attrition over the course of data collection, the evaluation included 392 youths in the treatment group and 327 youths in the comparison group. Data used in the evaluation came from pre-program and post-program input from youth and their parents. Outcome indicators were measured at the start of, during, and up to 3 years after the youths' involvement in the program. Indicators were measured with the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale Version 2, official school and court records, and the youths' self-reports of behavior and perceptions of the program. 90 tables, 82 references, and appended site-specific data and data-collection forms