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November 2022Vol. 23, No. 9Analysis Explores Programs Serving Young People Not Connected to School or Work

The Reconnecting Youth project, which is sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, aims to determine what programs and practices are available to support young people who experience disconnection from school and work during the transition to adulthood. It developed a compendium of programs that provides an overview of 78 programs that address this issue. The project also issued a report that analyzed program characteristics and practices.


The following are some of the key findings:

  • Program characteristics: The programs are mostly provided through nonprofits operated by community-based organizations, and most receive public funding.
  • Outcomes targeted: For education outcomes, programs mostly focus on basic skills gains, high school completion, and postsecondary education enrollment. For employment outcomes, programs mostly focus on short-term outcomes, such as job placement and readiness.
  • Services provided: Most programs provide both secondary and postsecondary education services as well as both work-readiness services and job-placement supports.
  • Program implementation practices: Common practices across the programs include support services for overcoming barriers, youth development practices, community partnerships or collaborations, and racial equity practices.
  • Data collection and evaluation: Almost all programs reported that they collected data, but only a minority were part of a formal study or evaluation.


More information on the analysis, including recommendations for further research, is available in the full report, Responding to Young People: An Analysis of Programs Serving Young People Not Connected to School or Work.  


A full list of programs included in the compendium is available on