Youth Program Resources
This briefing paper provides background information on Sierra Health Foundation's Positive Youth Justice Initiative, which seeks to improve the outcomes of young people involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, often referred to as crossover youth. The paper also describes the intiative's design, which combines youth development principles with an innovative behavioral health approach known as trauma-informed care and delivers both approaches using a service model known as wraparound. A fourth design element addresses juvenile justice system policy and operational practice to strengthen local infrastructure.
Healthy Youth/Healthy Regions was a two-year study commissioned by Sierra Health Foundation with additional funding from The California Endowment and conducted by the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. The study examined youth health and well-being on a regional scale and across multiple issues, as well as the connections between youth well-being and regional prosperity in the nine-county Capital Region of Northern California. Download the report (PDF)
Learn more about the study on the UC Davis Center for Regional Change web site.
Commissioned by Sierra Health Foundation and written by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, this policy report provides a historical account of California's juvenile justice system that illustrates the origins of today's issues, and provides a direction for establishing a model 21st century juvenile justice system designed to improve outcomes for youth, their families and caregivers. Download the report (PDF)
Engaging Youth in Community Change: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Sierra Health Foundation's REACH Youth Program
This evaluation report written by researchers at the University of California, Davis documents the work of seven grantees supported by three-year grants to build local youth-adult coalitions, to provide meaningful engagement and leadership opportunities for youth and to catalyze community and policy change strategies to enhance the overall level of support and opportunity for youth. Download the Evaluation Report (PDF)
Engaging Youth in Community Change:
Three Key Implementation Principles
This research article based on the REACH evaluation has been published in the Journal of the Community Development Society and can be obtained from the authors by e-mailing David Campbell or Nancy Erbstein.
REACH Impact Documentary 2011
Believing that documenting the experiences of youth in their own voices contributes to constituency building for community change, Sierra Health Foundation partnered with the Sacramento Youth Empowerment Studio (SacYES) to produce this video as a dynamic way to capture the experiences of youth and adults involved in the REACH Youth Program. After conducting almost 100 interviews, SacYES creatively combined the voices and images of REACH to tell the stories of how the program has impacted youth – and the adults who care about them – in the nine Northern California communities in which they live.
Believing in the value of using video documentaries and data as learning tools, members of the REACH technical assistance team collaborated to develop this toolkit, which incorporates components of the Engaging Youth in Community Change: Outcomes and Lessons Learned from Sierra Health Foundation's REACH Youth Program evaluation report and the REACH Impact Documentary
REACH Issue Brief Series Number One. How can the field of youth development move from being an assortment of valuable but often disconnected programs to become a coordinated system or sector with greater policy relevance? One strategy for working toward this goal involves building a community youth development coalition.
REACH Issue Brief Series Number Two. Next to the family, schools are one of the most influential developmental contexts that shape the life chances of youth. Over time, schools have increasingly shouldered the responsibility of promoting not only intellectual achievement but also civic, social and physical well-being.
REACH Issue Brief Series Number Three. Using digital media skills, youth have found an increasingly popular medium to tell stories about their lives, hopes and communities. Some educators have embraced this trend, viewing youth-produced media as a way to impart technical skills, build self-confidence and connect young citizens to their communities.
REACH Issue Brief Series Number Four. Engaging parents and family members in their children's lives is critical to youth's success in school and life. When families are involved, youth receive higher grades, attend school more frequently, perform better in standardized testing, show improved behavior and are more likely to graduate.
REACH Issue Brief Series Number Five. Over the course of three summers, Sierra Health Foundation hosted a weeklong summer youth development camp for REACH coalitions at its Grizzly Creek Ranch retreat facilities in Portola, California.
Toward Making Good on All Youth: Engaging Underrepresented Youth Populations in Community Youth Development
REACH Issue Brief Series Number Six. Youth who are most vulnerable to challenging community conditions, more limited opportunities, poor health and educational and economic trajectories derive especially strong benefits from engagement in community youth development efforts.
Engaging Youth: A How-To Guide for Creating Opportunities for Young People to Participate, Lead and Succeed
Sierra Health Foundation commissioned the Youth Services Provider Network (Now the Youth Development Network) to research and write this guide as part of both organizations' continuing efforts to publicize the importance of youth development approaches when seeking to improve the lives of youth.
Updated March 2007
This supplement lists organizations in the Sacramento area that provide opportunities for youth to be engaged in their communities. It also includes youth development and engagement resources.
As part of program research and development, Sierra Health Foundation staff and consultants examined evidence-based practices that appear promising in positively affecting adolescent health and development for young people 10 to 15 years of age.