youth development & adolescent health
Request for Proposals
Lea County Faces Big City Challenges with Small City Resources
There are upsides and downsides to living in a smaller community. While Lea County and Hobbs are a tenth as populous as Bernalillo County and Albuquerque, people here still face big city issues such as early literacy challenges, child abuse/neglect and drug addiction—just without research universities, robust healthcare systems, or metropolitan government partners to lend a hand. This means that our community has to be innovative,introducing new ideas and methods to addresses these challenges in order to preserve what keeps our community strong. Lea County residents face daunting challenges, but the people of Lea County are undaunted.
At the JF Maddox Foundation we know the difference that youth-serving agencies can make in the life of a young person, and we appreciate that these agencies are best positioned to help youth in ways that are tailored to the needs of the youth and families being served. We developed this request for Youth Development & Adolescent Health proposals to inspire agencies serving Lea County youth to develop new ways to improve the life opportunities for the youngest and most vulnerable members of the Lea County community.
This request for proposals (RFP) is based on an investigation of the literature on effective youth development. An aggregation of what we learned from the literature (core areas, competencies, key elements/best practices, and effective learning environment) is included in this RFP document.
For the purposes of this RFP, the following definition of youth development should inform your proposals:
“Positive youth development is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.”
-The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs
The purpose of this RFP process is to inspire and support innovation in the area of youth development and adolescent health. We hope this process will help our community develop new tools that are effective with Lea County youth. Given the key role of innovation in this process, it is critically important that ongoing assessment of what is working and what is not working is carefully documented, so lessons learned can be shared with other youth-serving agencies in Lea County and beyond. Additionally, the call for innovation explicit in this RFP means that existing programs and projects do not qualify; however, new programs for a currently served population or new populations for an existing program/project are acceptable.
We are excited to see the creativity of our youth-serving partners through this RFP process. If at any time you are unclear about the purpose or process of this RFP, please reach out to our program officers, David Reed and Mayra Lovas, who are available to help your organization through this process.
- Proposals will be accepted at any time after February 1, 2019.
- Proposals must be for the benefit of Lea County youth, generally ages 5-18.
- Proposals must be submitted with a project evaluation rubric (see The Social Profit Handbook by David Grant), that clearly shows how success of the project will be measured. Both pre- and post-program assessments are inherent in the use of a rubric. Evaluation rubrics must be developed with input from agency staff and board, as well as from the youth/families intended to be served.
- Proposals must provide for (1) a mid-program report (e.g., a report on the progress of the first six months of a one year program), and (2) a final report on actual results compared to the envisioned results described in the project rubric.
- For proposals that contemplate a population-level change, assessment must relate to population-level metrics (e.g., desired change in New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey [NM YRRS] responses for Lea County).
- For proposals that contemplate change for individualswho participate in the program, proposals must include (1) a mechanism for taking and reporting program attendance by the individual’s unique PED student number and school district, and (2) a process for tracking/reporting outcomes tied to the level of attendance/participation in the program. [Note: In order to share what works and lessons learned, we must understand the relationship between program attendance and outcomes. For example, are desirable results only observed with perfect attendance or are significant changes in outcomes observed for participants who attend/participate in 75% or more sessions?]
- Proposals must utilize a strength-based approach for ALL youth, not just “troubled” youth. A strength-based approach is generally any approach that emphasizes an individual’s self-determination and strengths. It is a philosophy and a way of viewing youth as resourceful and resilient in the face of adversity. In essence, there is a shift away from focusing on the deficits of youth and instead focusing on the health and well-being of youth where the goal is to promote the positive attributes of the work.
- Proposals must indicate the Core Area(s) and Competencies (defined below) that are expected to be built as a result of the proposed program.
- Proposals must address key elements/best practices, as well as effective learning environment in the program evaluation rubric.
Special consideration will be given for the following types of proposals:
- Proposals with multiple agencies as partners
- Proposals in the $10,000 – $50,000 range
- Proposals that address 1) chronic absenteeism, 2) summer learning loss, and/or 3) kindergarten readiness
- Proposals to develop a sustainable youth services commission, focused on improving the circumstances of Lea Countyyouth as measured by the following:
- Annual Administration of NM YRRS
- Annie E. Casey Kids Count Report
- Chronic Absenteeism
- Summer Learning Loss
- Kindergarten Readiness
Through our investigation of the literature, we found five core development areas and five competencies that are typically addressed in effective youth development programs. In addition to core areas and competencies, we looked for other essential components that support youth development. A comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of these components are listed below in the key elements/best practices and effective learning environment sections to aid in the preparation of proposals in response to this RFP.
- School/Career Readiness
- Life Skills
- Adolescent Health
- Leadership Development
- Physical– attitudes, behavior and knowledge that will assure future health and wellbeing
- Social– responsiveness, flexibility, empathy and caring, communication skills, a sense of humor, self-discipline, assertiveness and the ability to ask for help
- Cognitive– good reasoning, problem-solving and planning skills, the ability to think abstractly, reflectively and flexibly
- Vocational– a sense of purpose and belief in the future; educational aspirations, adequate preparation for work and family life
- Moral– the development of character, values and personal responsibility, a desire to be ethical and to be involved in efforts that contribute to the common good
Key Elements/Best Practices
- Youth are viewed as a valued and respected asset to society
- Youth are involved as partners in all aspects of the project as opposed to clients (include youth in planning, implementations, and assessment)
- Families, schools, and communities are engaged in developing environments that support youth
- Youth are involved in activities that enhance their competence, connections, character, confidence and contribution to society
- Youth are provided an opportunity to experiment in a safe environment and to develop positive social values and norms (e.g., experiential learning andreflection).
- Youth are engaged in activities that promote self-understanding, self-worth, and a sense of belonging and resiliency
- Youth develop positive relationship with caring adults
- Youth experience a safe emotional and physical environment
- Youth experience an inclusive environment
- Youth are engaged in learning
- Youth have the opportunity for skill building mastery
- Youth have the opportunity to see themselves as an active participant in the future (goal setting)
- Youth have the opportunity for self-determination
- Youth have the opportunity for value and practice to service others
Effective Learning Environment
- Provide physical & psychological safety: safe peer interaction, decrease in unsafe or confrontational peer interaction
- Deliver appropriate structure – boundaries/limit setting, clear and consistent rules and expectations
- Encourage supportive relationships with adults
- Provide youth with opportunities to belong
- Enforce positive social norms
- Inspire support for efficacy and mattering
- Implement opportunities for skill building
- Encourage the integration of family, school, and community