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At the end of the day, broader partnerships, bigger goals, and better data and decision making are only useful if they significantly increase the likelihood that timely, well-vetted, evidence-based strategies will be implemented and nurtured toward success. Many communities are dealing with an overabundance of strategies, and struggle to implement strategies in an aligned and effective way.
There are very few examples of ongoing, cross-system efforts to identify data needs, fill data gaps and use data to influence real-time decision-making. Information and data are needed at every level - within indvidual programs; within organizations; within networks, coalitions or systems; within leadership groups (focused on orchestration, not service delivery); and within communities.
Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment and delivered by the Ready by 21 National Partnership to make a measurable improvement in young people's lives. In communities around the country, Ready by 21 meets leaders where they are to reach the goal of having all youth ready for college, work and life.
In communities across the country, competing priorities, fragmented services, unstable funding and low expectations combine to create a sense of complacency. Establishing a common, 'big picture,' action-oriented vision that conveys compelling goals for children and youth is a critical step toward aligning efforts. Why?
Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies that helps communities improve the odds that all youth will be ready for college, work and life. Ready by 21 meets leaders where they are, challenges them to think and work differently, and helps them progress further and faster to deliver results for youth.
This story shows how community leaders built an overarching leadership council to coordinate and improve youth services. Those 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.
A nonprofit news service about advocacy on behalf of youth is spreading the word about the great strides made by Ready by 21 communities. In searching for evidence-based stories about “what works,” Child Advocacy 360 summarizes how Petaluma, Calif., used Ready by 21 strategies to help set priorities, engage youth and change practices.