Promise SSL relies on a strong framework of results-based strategies that guide both our daily operations and our long-term goals for the program. These strategies include:
Community schools represent a place-based school improvement strategy in which schools partner with community agencies and local government to provide an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement. Many operate year-round, from morning to evening, and serve both children and adults. Although the approach is appropriate for students of all backgrounds, many community schools serve neighborhoods where poverty and racism pose barriers to learning, and where families have few resources to supplement what typical schools provide.
Collective impact describes an intentional way of working together and sharing information for the purpose of solving a complex problem. Research has shown that partnerships utilizing a collective impact approach have greater success solving complex problems than individual nonprofits approaching the same problem.
There are five characteristics that distinguish collective impact initiatives - and make them successful: 1) common agenda, 2) shared measurement, 3) reinforcing activities, 4) continuous communication, and 5) having a backbone organization.
Two-Generation Approach (2-Gen)
This is a relatively new approach to help families break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. This approach has been adopted by Promise SSL and helps the program align its work with the Utah Department of Workforce Services (2012), while simultaneously addressing the needs of parents and children to improve outcomes for the whole family.
Two-generation approaches draw from findings that the wellbeing of parents is crucial to their children’s social-emotional, physical and economic well-being. And at the same time, parents’ ability to succeed in school and the workplace is substantially affected by how well their children are doing. Existing policies and programs mostly fail to acknowledge this connection, limiting their effectiveness and the ability of families to move from poverty to opportunity.
“RBA” is a disciplined way of thinking and taking action intended to improve the lives of children, families and the community as a whole. RBA is also used to improve the performance of programs. The RBA approach requires constant use of data/data analysis, simplified language, defined processes & performance/results accountability, and deep communication and consensus to help organizations draw informed conclusions regarding interventions/services/programs rendered.
Using RBA, an organization can answer the essential questions: 1) How much was done? 2) How well was it done? 3) Is anyone better off because of what was done?
Cradle to Career
The graphic demonstrates the segmentation for each developmental stage from birth through post-secondary experience and into a career.
Imagine, if you will, that at any point you could cut a section from the cradle to career pipeline, you would see how the SSL Framework for Youth Success and where relationships relative to education, health, safety, housing, arts, community, equity, faith communities, neighborhoods and/or jobs and economy are occurring at any given moment in a youth’s life experience, and how they are at work with services, relationships, and programs at that given point.
Framework for Youth Success
The Framework for Youth Success demonstrates a convergence of goals between education, social service, health, and other public sectors that support a holistic, integrated-systems approach to working toward successful youth, and ultimately, successful communities.
The framework illustrates that it takes a united effort to build successful youth. Intentional, effective partnerships that address all aspects of youth development—education, strong relationships, health, recreation, civic, etc.—are all essential to this work. The framework provides each individual, agency, organization, department, or municipality the opportunity to identify where they "fit" along the sides of the triangle that surrounds the youth and his/her family with the various types of services required, as no single entity can accomplish the desired outcomes for our youth.
The framework recognizes that cultural competence and efforts toward health and safety must be the shared responsibility of all, and that we must keep a constant eye out for ideas, practices, and methods to ensure the accomplishment of these essential elements. The outside edge of the circle features the phases of effective, efficient, purposeful actions (which may be co-occurring) that inform us regarding the next step in creating, maintaining, and enacting programs and processes that ensure successful outcomes for youth within their families and other relationships, schools, work environments and communities.
The framework’s "Cycle of Innovation and Evolution" brings awareness to the fact that the work we do in communities relative to afterschool must be highly responsive to the changing needs of the youth and their families, must access and utilize the latest research and technology, must foster and make the most of partnerships, and must meet the demands of performing with efficiency and effectiveness—even when that means doing more with less. Innovation and evolution speak to reaching beyond the idea of simply sustaining programs, and looking far out ahead and aligning quality programs and resources with what is needed to meet challenges before they become too large to address.