News Release

What Works in Out-of-School Programs for African American and Latino Children

Washington, DC— African American and Latino/Hispanic children and adolescents often face challenges that differ from each other and from other groups of children in the U.S.  Although a number of out-of-school time programs serving African American and Latino children have been implemented, data on which approaches work among these groups are scarce. Two new Child Trend syntheses fill this gap by reviewing rigorous evaluations of out-of-school programs to identify programs that work, as well as those that do not, and the intervention strategies that contribute to program success.  The programs targeted outcome areas such as reproductive health, substance use, and physical health and nutrition.

 

Among the findings from What Works for African American Children and Adolescents:

 

  • More than half (29 of 53) of rigorously evaluated programs were found to have a positive impact on at least one child outcome, especially in the area of reproductive health.
  • Programs that foster partnerships between the community and schools tend to work.
  • Strategies or components that garner family buy-in appear to be a critical component to program success. 
  • High-intensity programs that meet on a consistent basis more often and frequently tend to result in impacts for African American children and adolescents.

Among the findings from What Works for Latino/Hispanic Children and Adolescents:

 

  • More than half (18 of 33) of rigorously evaluated programs were found to have a positive impact on at least one child outcome, especially in the area of substance use.
  • Programs that target families tend to work.
  • Programs that directly address the cultural norms and practices of their participants have positive impacts across outcomes.
  • Inclusion of Spanish-speaking program facilitators is a critical component for positive outcomes.

“Our findings suggest that many of the issues that compromise healthy development for African American and Latino children can be addressed successfully,” says Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D., co-author of both analyses.  “Although it is important to note that these strategies are not exclusive to the African American and Latino populations, such information can improve program design, implementation, and effectiveness.”

 

The data on program impacts for African American and Latino children and adolescents were drawn from Child Trends’ database of random assignment evaluations of social interventions for children and adolescents – LINKS (Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully).

 

Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development. Our mission is to improve outcomes for children by providing research, data, and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children. 


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