Strategies

Policies and programs that work

74 Strategies
Clear all

Activity programs for older adults

Offer group educational, social, or physical activities that promote social interactions, regular attendance, and community involvement among older adults
Scientifically Supported
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Family and Social Support

Alternative high schools for at-risk students

Provide educational and social services in an alternative setting for students at-risk of dropping out of traditional high schools
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Attendance interventions for chronically absent students

Support interventions that provide chronically absent students with resources to improve self-esteem, social skills, etc. and address familial and school-related factors that can contribute to poor attendance
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)

Match disadvantaged or at-risk youth with volunteer mentors in school or community settings
Some Evidence
  • Community Safety
  • Education

Birthing Project SisterFriends

Provide one-on-one advice, education, and emotional and social support to women of color, by volunteer women of color, during pregnancy and for one year after birth
Insufficient Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Bridge programs for hard-to-employ adults

Provide basic skills (e.g., reading, math, writing, English language, or soft skills) and industry-specific training with other supports; also called occupationally contextualized basic education programs
Expert Opinion
  • Education
  • Employment

Career & technical education for high school graduation

Provide career and technical education (CTE) as an integrated part of an academic curriculum for students at risk of dropping out of high school; also called vocational training
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Career Academies

Establish small learning communities in high schools focused on fields such as health care, finance, technology, communications, or public service
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Charter schools

Establish publicly financed schools that are not subject to many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools, such as staffing, curriculum, and budgeting requirements.
Mixed Evidence
  • Education

Chicago Child-Parent Centers

Provide preschool education and comprehensive support to low income families, including small classes, student meals, and home visits with referrals for social service support as needed
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Child development accounts

Establish dedicated child development accounts (CDAs) to build assets over time with contributions from family, friends, and sometimes, supporting organizations; also called children’s savings accounts (CSAs)
Expert Opinion
  • Income
  • Education

College access programs

Help underrepresented students prepare academically for college, complete applications, and enroll, especially first generation applicants and students from low income families
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Community arts programs

Support locally-based visual, media, and performing arts initiatives for children and adults; also called participatory arts programs
Expert Opinion
  • Family and Social Support

Community centers

Support community venues that facilitate local residents’ efforts to socialize, participate in recreational or educational activities, gain information, and seek counseling or support services
Expert Opinion
  • Family and Social Support

Community schools

Combine academic, mental and physical health, and social service resources in schools for students and families via partnerships with community organizations; also called community learning centers
Some Evidence
  • Education

Comprehensive school reform

Implement a coordinated effort to overhaul school operation, integrating curriculum, instruction, professional development, parent involvement, classroom and school management; also called school-wide or whole school reform
Some Evidence
  • Education

Crisis lines

Provide free and confidential counseling and service referrals via telephone-based conversation, web-based chat, or text message to individuals in crisis, particularly those with severe mental health concerns
Some Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Cross-age youth peer mentoring

Establish an ongoing relationship between an older youth or young adult and a younger child or adolescent, usually an elementary or middle school student
Some Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

DARE to be You

Provide education and training sessions with parent-child activities and family meals for youth, parents, and care providers
Expert Opinion
  • Education

Dropout prevention programs

Provide supports such as mentoring, counseling, or vocational training, or undertake school environment changes to help students complete high school
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Dropout prevention programs for teen mothers

Provide teen mothers with services such as remedial education, vocational training, case management, health care, child care, and transportation assistance to support high school completion
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Early childhood home visiting programs

Provide at-risk expectant parents and families with young children with information, support, and training regarding child health, development, and care from prenatal stages through early childhood via trained home visitors
Scientifically Supported
  • Community Safety
  • Family and Social Support

Early Head Start (EHS)

Provide child care, parent education, physical health and mental health services, and other family supports to pregnant women and parents with low incomes and children aged 0 to 3
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)

Provide confidential worksite-based counseling and referrals to employees to address personal and workplace challenges
Some Evidence
  • Employment
  • Family and Social Support

Families and Schools Together

Convene small groups of families for facilitated weekly meetings that include a family meal, structured activities, parent support time, and parent-child play therapy
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Father involvement programs

Support fathers’ active involvement in child rearing via various father-focused or family-focused interventions
Some Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Full-day kindergarten

Offer kindergarten programs for 4 to 6-year-old children, five days per week for at least five hours per day
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

GED certificate programs

Implement programs that help individuals without a high school diploma or its equivalent achieve a General Education Development (GED) certificate
Some Evidence
  • Education
  • Employment

Georgia Fatherhood Program

Provide employment-based services for non-custodial fathers who pay child support and experience a job loss or a decrease in income
Insufficient Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Grocery, housing & utilities cooperatives

Establish a non-share capital cooperative model in which fee-paying members can share the communal resources of a grocery, house, or utility cooperative
Insufficient Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Group-based parenting programs

Teach parenting skills in a group setting using a standardized curriculum, often based on behavioral or cognitive-behavioral approaches and focused on parents of at-risk children
Scientifically Supported
  • Family and Social Support

Health career recruitment for minority students

Recruit and train underrepresented minority (URM) students for careers in health fields via information about health careers, classes, practicum experiences, advising about college or medical school admissions, etc.
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Healthy Families America (HFA)

Provide home visiting services to families who are at risk for adverse childhood experiences, starting prenatally or right after birth and continuing for three to five years
Some Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

HighScope Perry Preschool model

Provided high quality preschool with home visiting to low income, African-American children with an emphasis on active learning in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Some Evidence
  • Education

Incredible Years

Support young children who exhibit or are at risk for behavioral problems with interpersonal relationship training and parents and teachers who are trained to meet their needs
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Intergenerational communities

Create communities that promote interaction and cooperation between individuals of different ages and focus on the needs of all residents, especially children and older adults
Expert Opinion
  • Family and Social Support

Intergenerational mentoring

Establish a relationship between an older adult and an at-risk child or adolescent; programs are often based in schools, community centers, or faith-based organizations
Expert Opinion
  • Family and Social Support

Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) in middle schools

Emphasize high expectations for all students, parent and student commitment, empowered principals, and regular student assessments that inform continuous improvement in a lengthened school-year and school-day
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Later middle and high school start times

Delay school start times for middle and high schools to better align with adolescent sleep-wake cycles; often until after 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.
Some Evidence
  • Education

Mental Health First Aid

Provide an 8 or 12 hour training to educate laypeople about how to assist individuals with mental health problems or at risk for problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders
Some Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Mentoring programs for high school graduation

Establish programs that connect at-risk students with trained adult volunteers who provide ongoing guidance for academic and personal challenges
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad

Help men improve their parenting skills and fathering knowledge via a voluntary, comprehensive fatherhood program
Insufficient Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

National Fatherhood Initiative's InsideOut Dad

Connect incarcerated fathers to their families and prepare them for release via small group education sessions that address fathering knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors
Insufficient Evidence
  • Family and Social Support

Neighborhood associations

Establish voluntary formal groups of residents who work together to create a unified voice, enhance living conditions in their neighborhood, and address neighborhood concerns
Expert Opinion
  • Family and Social Support

No Excuses charter school model

Focus heavily on reading and math achievement, enforce high behavioral expectations through a formal discipline system, lengthen instructional time, and increase feedback on teacher performance
Scientifically Supported
  • Education

Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP)

Provide home visiting services to low income, first time mothers and their babies, starting during pregnancy and continuing through a child’s second birthday
Scientifically Supported
  • Family and Social Support

Open Streets

Allow community members to gather, socialize, walk, run, bike, skate, etc. by closing selected streets temporarily to motorized traffic; also called Ciclovía programs
Expert Opinion
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Family and Social Support

Outdoor experiential education & wilderness therapy

Support outdoor pursuits that emphasize inter- and intra-personal growth through overcoming obstacles (e.g., challenge courses, wilderness excursions, etc.)
Scientifically Supported
  • Family and Social Support

Parents as Teachers (PAT)

Support home visits that teach parents about early childhood development and effective parenting strategies, with child development screenings, parental meetings, and links to community resources
Some Evidence
  • Education