intermediaries that provide technical assistance in a variety of ways, including Internet-based systems.


The desire among program practitioners, policy makers, scholars, scientists, parents, and society to make sure young people are healthy, happy, safe, and productive is not new. Offering formal and informal programs in the community for adolescents during nonschool hours is not new. These programs have a long history of providing positive opportunities to keep youth safe and to facilitate their development and well-being. Various individuals and professional organizations are committed to better understanding these programs and providing technical assistance to encourage their success.

The scientific evidence that elucidates the ways in which community programs for youth provide opportunities to promote adolescent development and well-being, however, is less well developed. This report has explored these programs from this perspective and presented a set of recommendations targeted at various stakeholders: practitioners (program developers, practitioners, managers, and staff); community leaders (staff and leaders in a mayor’s office, local government agencies, community foundations, private intermediaries, as well as individual community leaders); and national leaders (public and private funders, policy makers, researchers, and evaluators). The recommendations in this report have the potential to enhance existing community programs for youth, promote adolescent development among diverse groups of youth and varied communities, and increase knowledge about the links between community programs for youth and adolescent development.

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