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California Youth Connection Evaluation

Funding Agency: The Stuart Foundations

Dates: 2002-2004

Staff: Norm Constantine (Principal Evaluator), Lisa Korwin (Evaluation Director), Wendy Constantine (Senior Evaluation Consultant)

California Youth Connection (CYC) is a non-profit advocacy organization composed of current and former foster youth that strives to improve the foster care system by making it possible for these youth to have a say in child welfare services. As a result of findings from the development of CYC's recent strategic plan funded by the Stuart Foundations, CYC recognized that in order for its chapters to function at maximum efficiency, they require more training and technical assistance from the statewide office than they presently receive. This expanded training and technical assistance will focus on local advocacy, building alliances with appropriate public and private agencies, and such organizational skills as fundraising, public speaking and running effective meetings. These intensive services will provide each chapter with the means to conduct more effective advocacy that will better inform the field and result in improved policies and outcomes for foster youth throughout California.

This contract is to conduct a formative evaluation of the CYC's Stuart Foundations funded expanded training and technical assistance program for foster youth advocates. The program consists of (1) an expanded curriculum, (2) a multi-day training institute (the CYC college) for youth organizers and newly hired outreach staff, and (3) four-day regional trainings and other support for local chapters.

The evaluation will assess trainees reaction to training and learning from training, new trainees reaction to training and learning from training, former trainees behavior change as a result of initial training, and results achieved due to support from outreach staff and training. This will be accomplished through activity logs, a post-training survey, focus groups, and individual interviews.