Forum Flash: April 21, 2011

Align Youth Policies, Build Leadership Councils, Act on the Federal Budget

The Forum for Youth Investment Forum Flash

Forum Flash is part of the Forum for Youth Investment's e-newsletter series. Forum Flash informs you about what's going on at the Forum for Youth Investment, and about resources, opportunities, careers and recent events.

 All New

"Introduction to Ready by 21®" Webinar this Tuesday, April 26, at 3:30 PM EST

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A New Drill for Your Policy Toolbox Policy Alignment Series

The Forum has just launched its new Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series, which will provide a set of strategies to ensure that new child and youth policies align with existing efforts in order to create a seamless system of supports.


The first strategy, Align New Policies with Existing Efforts to Collaborate, provides real-world examples of what can go wrong when policy language does not encourage new efforts to blend with existing collaboratives, as well as examples of language that does. Georgia, for example, met a federal Head Start requirement regarding early childhood issues by modifying its existing children's cabinet rather than creating a new collaborative.


For more information about the Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series, contact Danielle Evennou, senior policy associate at the Forum: 202-207-3712,

How to Build a Leadership CouncilN. Kentucky Case Study

One of the first tasks for communities carrying out Ready by 21 is to build or strengthen an overarching leadership council, which establishes accountability for improved outcomes from birth to young adulthood.  There are many ways to do that - and the Forum's latest Ready by 21 case study shows how one community, Northern Kentucky, built such a council to coordinate and improve youth services. Community leaders used Ready by 21 strategies to expand the council's scope to include organizations and agencies covering the full range of youth supports, and to get them working toward the same goals. Read the case study here.

Weighing in on the Federal Budget Battle

People concerned about how proposed federal budget cuts would affect youth services and funding got involved in the debate this month through an Action Alert co-hosted by SparkAction. The alert - conducted in partnership with Voices for America's Children, the National Collaboration for Youth, the Campaign for Youth, the Children's Leadership Council and other organizations - warned that the so-called "Ryan Budget" resolution in the House of Representatives "would make unprecedented cuts to programs that are proven to work for children, young people and communities."


The Alert - read by more than 4,000 people - directed readers to, where they accessed budget-related information, analyses and stories of actual impact, and sent electronic messages to House members in every state using SparkAction's interactive tool. (The measure passed, but faces long odds in the Senate.)


The Alert was part of SparkAction's continuing coverage of the federal budget process and its potential impact on youth. You can see that coverage here. SparkAction is an online journalism and advocacy center by and for the child and youth field, managed by the Forum for Youth Investment. 

Summit Airs Challenges for College Students 

Here's one way to bring attention to the struggles of college students: On April 15-17, brought together 100 students from California's community colleges to discuss the challenges they face in achieving their academic goals. Young people talked with policymakers and community leaders about the state of higher education, and shared ideas for change. As a key media sponsor, SparkAction helped provide live streaming of the summit, as well online voting for 11 student-designed projects that will be funded based on those votes. Watch footage from the summit here

The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "action tank" dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21®: ready for college, work and life. Informed by rigorous research and practical experience, the Forum forges innovative ideas, strategies and partners to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them.

Publishing Date: 
April 21, 2011