As communities do the hard work to find, align and generate new dedicated funding streams for children and youth services, they must also consider methods to measure the impact of their investments. Many cities and counties are seeing the value of tying investments to outcomes thru more comprehensive system-wide evaluation and continuous quality improvement efforts.
In this section, we summarize and link to articles, reports, blog posts and examples of cities and counties evaluating the effectiveness of their current investments to support children and youth. We hope these resources provide inspiration and ideas to other localities seeking to increase their efforts in this area.
Strategic Financing for Tested, Effective Programs. Moving to shared community priorities and tested, effective programs for child well-being requires a strategic financing approach to shift existing dollars to what works. This Annie E. Casey Foundation webinar featured the Forum’s policy leaders, Thaddeus Ferber and Elizabeth Gaines, and explored tools to help communities develop a “fund map” of existing dollars and develop a strategic financing plan.
Use this checklist for action to determine if you are doing all you can to increase the return on investment in children and youth programs by taking on reallocation of existing investments toward evidence-based programs, supporting continuous quality improvement of home grown approaches, or building effective cross-agency data tracking systems.