DE Week: Homeless Youth Collaborative on Developmental Evaluation

Greetings to the aea365 community.  We are Heather Huseby, Deborah Loon, Major Arnel Ruppel, Matt Lasure, Denise Smieja, and Andrea Simonett representing six agencies in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, serving homeless youth.

Rad Resource: Through an 18-month developmental evaluation process our six quite distinct agencies collaborated to develop and evaluate nine guiding principles to help youth overcome homelessness.

The principles begin with the perspective that youth experiencing homelessness are on a journey; all of our interactions with these youth are filtered through that journey perspective. This means we must be trauma-informed, non-judgmental, and work to reduce harm. By holding these principles, we can build a trusting relationship that allows us to focus on youths’ strengths and opportunities for positive development. Through all of this, we approach youth as whole beings through a youth-focused collaborative system of support.

The full set of principles, how we developed them, the evidence for their effectiveness, and how we are using them is available here.

Hot Tip:  All collaboration members were involved in every aspect of the developmental evaluation from selecting the focus of inquiry to designing the evaluation, interpreting findings, and finalizing the report.

Hot Tip:We met together every month to keep the momentum of the project going.

Cool Trick:Working together on the developmental evaluation solidified our collaboration, gave us a common focus, and facilitated building trust and mutual understanding, which continue.

Rad Resource:  The developmental evaluation was also a doctoral dissertation by Nora Murphy, University of Minnesota.

This week, we’re diving into issues of Developmental Evaluation (DE) with contributions from DE practitioners and authors. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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