Developing Youth Systems: Creating Transformational Change for our Nation’s Young People

Publication date: 
September, 2013

Good schools are, of course, essential, but not alone sufficient for the long-term academic, economic, and civic success of our nation’s young people. Rather, an integrated set of supports is needed in families, in all facets of communities, and, yes, in schools. Research, community wisdom, and common sense tell us that families, schools and the broader community need to work together to create integrated systems of support for each child— an approach that we term youth systems.

Deeply influenced by the fields of developmental science, economics, and public health, a youth system encompasses key developmental supports (what America’s Promise calls the Five Promises) integrated across families, schools, and all facets of the community, aligned with the strengths and needs of each child.

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