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Strategies for Youth Inc.

 PO Box 390174
 Cambridge, MA 02139
[P] (617) 714-3789
[F] --
www.strategiesforyouth.org
info@strategiesforyouth.org
Lisa Thurau
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INCORPORATED: 2009
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-1389973

LAST UPDATED: 12/08/2017
Organization DBA Strategies for Youth, Inc.
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Strategies for Youth (SFY) is a policy and training organization dedicated to improving interactions and relations between police and youth and to reducing disproportionate minority contact. SFY achieves its mission by equipping officers with knowledge and best practices for working with youth; and by educating youth on how to peacefully navigate their encounters with police. SFY provides police offices with training that integrates instruction in adolescent brain development and best practices for effectively de-escalating interactions with cutting edge research, develops leadership for adopting trauma-informed policing practices within law enforcement agencies, and educates vulnerable youth about their rights and how to respond appropriately to police.  Strategies for Youth aims to reframe and transform what is too often an adversarial approach to police/youth relations.

Mission Statement

Strategies for Youth (SFY) is a policy and training organization dedicated to improving interactions and relations between police and youth and to reducing disproportionate minority contact. SFY achieves its mission by equipping officers with knowledge and best practices for working with youth; and by educating youth on how to peacefully navigate their encounters with police. SFY provides police offices with training that integrates instruction in adolescent brain development and best practices for effectively de-escalating interactions with cutting edge research, develops leadership for adopting trauma-informed policing practices within law enforcement agencies, and educates vulnerable youth about their rights and how to respond appropriately to police.  Strategies for Youth aims to reframe and transform what is too often an adversarial approach to police/youth relations.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $817,000.00
Projected Expense $780,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Assessment of Police/ Youth Relations
  • Policing the Teen Brain in Schools Training
  • Policing the Teen Brain Training
  • Think About It First! Cards
  • Training Teens through Juvenile Justice Jeopardy

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Strategies for Youth (SFY) is a policy and training organization dedicated to improving interactions and relations between police and youth and to reducing disproportionate minority contact. SFY achieves its mission by equipping officers with knowledge and best practices for working with youth; and by educating youth on how to peacefully navigate their encounters with police. SFY provides police offices with training that integrates instruction in adolescent brain development and best practices for effectively de-escalating interactions with cutting edge research, develops leadership for adopting trauma-informed policing practices within law enforcement agencies, and educates vulnerable youth about their rights and how to respond appropriately to police.  Strategies for Youth aims to reframe and transform what is too often an adversarial approach to police/youth relations.

Background Statement

In 2009, Lisa Thurau, Esq. founded Strategies for Youth, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions. Working with Dr. Jeff Q. Bostic, Director of School Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, she built Strategies for Youth from the ground up without formal institutional or foundation support. In its first year, Strategies for Youth worked with police in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, published over 10 articles on police/youth issues in national publications, and presented at more than 5 national police and criminal justice forums. Ms. Thurau and Strategies for Youth are now listed as technical advisors for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Ms. Thurau is regularly asked to speak to the media about policing matters in the news.  SFY fields a rapidly growing number of requests from communities across the country for its dual training programs:  Policing the Teen Brain and Juvenile Justice Jeopardy.  It also regularly writes and releases national reports on issues ranging from statewide standards for police to training offered to police to best practices for arresting adults in the presence of their children so as to minimize trauma.  SFY is now considered a national voice of reason in the increasingly overheated debate about police/youth/community relations.  With additional resources to build its staff, training and policy capacity, SFY is well-positioned to become a national leader in this field, offering training on the ground while simultaneously influencing national and state-level policy and public opinion about the appropriate role and function of police within our society.  

Impact Statement

1. SFY introduced curriculum about the adolescent brain and de-escalation strategies for interacting with youth into statewide training provided to police cadets in Indiana;

2. SFY has increased its income earned from contracts for Juvenile Justice Jeopardy and Policing the Teen Brain, thus reducing its reliance upon foundation support;
3.  SFY's national media presence has been significantly expanded this year, including a profile in The Atlantic
4. SFY implemented its training program, In the Presence of Children, in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Tippecanoe and Phoenix  

Needs Statement

 1. More Full-time training staff to be able to meet the growing demand for our training/educational programs from communities across the country;

2. More flexible, operating support to allow SFY to focus resources on the areas of greatest need and to serve communities that lack resources to support our training/education programs.
 
3. Support for a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to assess both short and long-term impact of our programs on a host of factors;
 
4. Build up SFY's policy/communications capacities so that we can weigh in more effectively on state and federal policy discussions and can have a more robust media presence on issues central to our mission;
5.  Support for a full-time administrator/financial professional to free up the Executive Director's time for communications/policy and thought leadership.  
 



CEO Statement

I started Strategies for Youth in 2010 because, as a juvenile justice attorney, I had observed for years the growing gap between what the public expected from the police and how they were trained.  With the social safety net being cut back drastically, police are often called upon by families to intervene in domestic disputes, to rescue cats, to discipline teenagers, to respond to mentally ill individuals and to those who have suffered from trauma.  They are the first responders in a host of situations that are not criminal.  Yet police are trained to have only one response--arrest.  This lack of training puts them and the community they serve at risk.  In particular, I noted that a growing number of arrests of teenagers had no underlying crime.  They were arrested for "contempt of cop" or "disorderly conduct" or "disobedience."  The vast majority of these arrests could be avoided if there was greater understanding and communication between police and youth, and if police were made aware of the differences between the adolescent brain and the adult brain, and of how youth perceive and respond to stress.  On the youth side, teenagers are often dangerously unaware of the long-term consequences of an arrest, of their rights, of the law, and of likely police response to their behaviors.  SFY has grown and evolved tremendously since these beginnings, but its mission and goals have remained constant:  to reduce violent encounters between police and  youth, to reduce the numbers of unnecessary arrests, to prevent youth from becoming justice-involved, and to increase partnerships between  youth-serving organizations in the community and police so as to improve outcomes for youths.  

Board Chair Statement

As Board Chair of SFY I have never been more proud of the organization and its groundbreaking success. In the past two years SFY has matured beyond its formative stages to become the nation’s leading authority and most sought after source of solutions regarding the highly publicized tensions between minority youth and law enforcement.

Police departments across the country, many of which were initially resistant and skeptical of SFY’s innovative programs, have come to recognize that SFY’s creative approach represents the very best practices that are proving to be truly transformative to the affected kids, schools, law enforcement officers, parents and the community in general.

Juvenile Justice Jeopardy, Policing the Teen Brain and the other cutting edge programs and tools developed by SFY provide the critical education and training for both kids and law enforcement that have proven to be successful in the field.

SFY is often quoted by the New York Times, the Associated Press, American Police Beat, the Atlantic, the Crime Report, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, US News and World Report, and Mother Jones and has been featured on CNN, NPR, MSNBC, Huffington Post and Al Jazeera.

SFY’s dance card fills up quickly, with an increasing number of states speaking about including Policing the Teen Brain curriculum in state academy curricula, funding a rigorous evaluation of the impact of SFY’s training. We’re gearing up for a very busy year and appreciate your support of the critical work we do to improve police/youth interactions.


Geographic Area Served

Throughout the United States

We serve law enforcement agencies, youth and community organizations throughout the United States. We pay particular attention to underserved youth in low income communities - with special emphasis on serving youth of color. 

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Single Organization Support
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Management & Technical Assistance
  3. Crime & Legal - Related - Administartion Of Justice

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development

Programs

Assessment of Police/ Youth Relations

Assessment of a Department's police/ youth relations is conducted to ascertain the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth and improvement of police/ youth interactions and violence prevention. Elements of the assessment include extensive interviewing, surveying, and observation of officers, youth, and community leaders. The assessment also focuses on crime statistics for teens, deployment of officers, and organizational distribution of resources to use for working with youth. Each assessment includes review of departmental regulations to insure they are updated and consistent with nationwide standards as set forth by CALEA and IACP. 
Budget  --
Category  Public Safety, Disaster Services Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other
Population Served Other Named Groups
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Policing the Teen Brain in Schools Training

This Strategies for Youth training teaches officers working in schools various methods of positive intervention, without recourse to arrest or use of restraints, and how to work with youth in special education classes. Through interactive lectures, scenario-based examples, and discussions with child and adolescent psychiatrists who are experts in learning disabilities, officers will learn how to identify the behavioral components of such disabilities, intervene successfully with such youth, and promote relationship development between law enforcement, students, and school administrators. 
 
Budget  --
Category  Public Safety, Disaster Services Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other
Population Served Other Named Groups Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Policing the Teen Brain Training

Strategies for Youth, with experts from the Children & Adolescent Psychiatry Department of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), provides officer training to translate cutting edge psychiatric practice and neurological research about the adolescent brain into practical skills for officers to improve, facilitate, and help de-escalate interactions with children and youth. 
Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-Term Success 
1. More police officers versed in adolescent psychology and brain development;
2. More police officers trained in de-escalation strategies;
3. Increased numbers of partnerships between police and youth-serving organizations in the community
4. Increased use by police in alternatives to arrest as a response to interactions with youth 
Program Long-Term Success  A re-oriented policing approach that emphasizes trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate strategies, engagement with other community-based, youth-serving organizations, and the use of arrests only as a last resort. 
Program Success Monitored By 
1. Arrest data
2. Evaluation Feedback
3. Ongoing interactions and technical assistance offered to police and community-based organizations 
Examples of Program Success  After our trainings in Tippecanoe, Indiana, juvenile arrests declined by over 26%, in Lewiston, ME by 64%, and in Spokane, WA arrests were down from 402 to 55 in one year. Requests for SFY services have also dramatically increased in the past year.

Think About It First! Cards

Our Think About It First! cards were created to educate youth about the potential consequences of arrest and involvement in the juvenile justice system. The cards, often distributed by law enforcement and youth advocates,  provide youth with a summary of laws regarding distribution of juvenile arrest and court records.
Budget  $10,000.00
Category  Crime & Legal, General/Other Crime Control & Prevention
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Offenders/Ex-Offenders At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Think About It First! cards are an easy, non-confrontational way for community leaders, parents, educators and others to warn youth about the collateral consequences of arrest and detention, and to make sure they enter the world with all the knowledge they need to stay safe and out of the system.
Program Long-Term Success  The cards are an important tool for communities, equipping youth with knowledge that could prevent them from entering the juvenile justice system.
Program Success Monitored By  Program success is monitored by anecdotal accounts. A more concrete, numerical way of tracking the program's success is under development. 
Examples of Program Success  SFY has found that many youth keep their Think About It First! cards and refer to them often. Law enforcement and youth advocates have testified to the efficacy of the cards as icebreakers, and important tools in opening dialogue with youth. 

Training Teens through Juvenile Justice Jeopardy

Based on the television game show, Strategies for Youth uses Juvenile Justice Jeopardy to engage youth in important conversations about the juvenile justice system, and the potential consequences of their actions through a scenario-based game. The game offers a framework for conveying consistent information and inviting youth to participate in meaningful dialogue about their views and experiences of the juvenile justice system. The game places special emphasis on how youth can interact positively with police, and what conduct could potentially lead to arrest. The game can be tailored to state law and to the needs of particular communities. 
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years) Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General Other Minorities
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

SFY's biggest challenge right now is also our biggest opportunity. We have established the credibility and reputation as a national thought leader with the capacity to influence public support for police reform and a different approach to juvenile justice. However, we need additional operating support to free up the time of the Executive Director to pursue activities that will increase SFY's visibility on the national stage, and we need additional resources to reach communities without financial ability to contract for our services.  

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Lisa H. Thurau Esq.
CEO Term Start May 2010
CEO Email lht@strategiesforyouth.org
CEO Experience

Lisa H. Thurau  is a graduate of Barnard College and holds a Masters degree in Anthropology from Columbia University. She graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in 1991. Before becoming an attorney, Lisa worked as a researcher and advocate for reform and improvement of the public education system in New York City. She worked as an Associate in the litigation department of Coudert Brothers, an international law firm on copyright and commercial litigation matters.

From 1999 to 2008, Lisa served as policy specialist and then as Managing Director of the Juvenile Justice Center of Suffolk Law School. There, Lisa focused on public policy advocacy on behalf of court-involved teens. She monitored juveniles’ civil rights issues regarding police treatment, tracked trends in the Center’s cases, monitored and challenged legislation affecting youth in the juvenile justice system.

In 2004, Lisa initiated a training with 180 officers in the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Transit Police to improve police/youth interactions, to increase officers’ skills in working with youth, and to support officers’ development of innovative approaches to policing large groups of teens in public transit areas.  She conducted a training with over 100 officers in the Everett Police Department.  Her assessment and training of 235 officers in the Cambridge Police Department led to a reorganization of the way that Department provides services to youth.

In 2009, Lisa founded Strategies for Youth, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions. Working with Dr. Jeff Q. Bostic, Director of School Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, Lisa built Strategies for Youth from the ground up without formal institutional or foundation support. In its first year, Strategies for Youth worked with police in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, published over 10 articles on police/youth issues in national publications, and presented at more than 5 national police and criminal justice forums. Lisa and Strategies for Youth are now listed as technical advisors for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Mission Based Massachusetts

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Strategies for Youth collaborates regularly with law enforcement and youth serving community based organizations nationwide, as well as advocacy and policy development groups. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 4
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 14
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Exempt

Risk Management Provisions

Commercial General Liability
--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Stephen A. Landsman Esq
Board Chair Company Affiliation Law Offices of Stephen A. Landsman
Board Chair Term June 2014 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Peter Alvarez Esq Choate, Hall & Stewart Voting
Kevin Bethel Stoneleigh Foundation, former Deputy Police Commissioner, Philadelphia Voting
Robert Clark Retired Voting
Robert Haas Chief of Police (ret), Cambridge MA Voting
Kyong Kim Esq Holland & Knight Voting
Stephen A. Landsman Esq Law Offices of Stephen A. Landsman Voting
Ian D. Lanoff Esq Groom Law Group Voting
Deborah Lashley Esq Consultant Voting
Susan Lowe CPA, CGMA Home HealthCare Hospice & Community Services Voting
Gary Simson Esq Mercer University Voting
Lisa Thurau Strategies for Youth Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

As Executive Director of Strategies for Youth, I am excited as our organization faces another growth spurt!  We are hopeful that our training programs will continue to expand and that some of our new training ideas, specifically reaching out to parents, will take hold.  From a governance perspective, we are honored to work with a lively, active Board of Directors that gives us great advice, in-kind support, and actively reaches out to youth by using our Juvenile Justice Jeopardy program, and to potential individual and foundation donors.  
Moving forward, we are hoping to build our Board by attracting new members with new skill sets, specifically in public and media relations. We are also seeking to increase the geographic diversity of our Board.
From a programmatic perspective, SFY is especially excited to be named a partner of the NBA Cares organization.  The NBA has invited SFY to brings its Juvenile Justice Jeopardy game to 15 NBA events across the U.S. in 2017!
We hope to expand our training work in Massachusetts through increased funding and program implementation as well as build sufficient financial reserves to permit us to hire more staff and increase our outreach. 
Finally, from a policy perspective, SFY plans to take on oversight issues in policing and the absence of state standards to guide police/youth relations.  As the federal oversight role recedes, we believe the need for greater state oversight will increase.  While we have many ideas for heretofore unexplored policy topics, we are limited by the absence of funding for policy and advocacy projects.
 
We are excited by all the opportunities the coming year offers and the many ways we can build positive police/youth interactions and improve outcomes for youth in 2017!
Lisa H. Thurau,
Executive Director 
 
 
 
 

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $912,041 $816,532 $379,641
Total Expenses $865,592 $753,706 $530,220

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $25,000
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $25,000
Individual Contributions $613,481 $229,337 $175,050
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $298,560 $587,184 $179,561
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $11 $30
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events -- -- $0
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $704,118 $608,978 $434,860
Administration Expense $139,714 $124,129 $95,360
Fundraising Expense $21,760 $20,599 $0
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.05 1.08 0.72
Program Expense/Total Expenses 81% 81% 82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 9% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $462,285 $486,608 $299,204
Current Assets $442,996 $480,513 $293,041
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $72,832 $143,604 $19,026
Total Net Assets $389,453 $343,004 $280,178

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 6.08 3.35 15.40

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available. 

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

SFY's goals are to:
1) reduce incidences of unnecessary arrests and violence during encounters between police and youth;
2) increase police's arsenal of strategies for effectively de-escalating potentially violent interactions with youths;
3) increase partnerships and communication between police and youth-serving organizations within a community so as to increase alternatives to arrest and services/programs serving vulnerable youth;
4) greater legitimacy of police within a community, particularly in communities of color; and increased engagement of families, youth, and community-based organizations in maintaining public safety; 
5)  Reduce the overall incidences of violence and crime and increase sense of safety and order within communities through improved relations and stronger communication between police, families, and youth;
6) Re-orientation of the role of policing within a community so that public safety, improved outcomes of youth, and reduced violence are the metrics used to define success;
7) Adoption of a trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate policing approach nationally, where arrest is viewed as the last, not first, resort.  

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Strategies for Youth seeks to change the quality of police youth interactions through an integrated series of strategies that include:

1) Dual training/education programs—one for police (Policing the Teen Brain) and one for youth (Juvenile Justice Jeopardy). From both perspectives, SFY seeks the same overall goal: to increase understanding and improve communication between police and youth, so as to reduce unnecessary violence and arrests.

2) Engaging youth-serving organizations located within the community in this effort, and encouraging partnerships between them and the police so as to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth;

3) Working with advocacy groups at the state and national level to advance policies promoting a trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate orientation to policing;

4) Working with police agencies to provide technical assistance, and develop standards, policies and practices reflecting best practices for policing of youth;

5) Increasing public support for a re-oriented approach to policing through original research, written reports, op eds, media appearances, presentations at conference and other public events.

6) Becoming a national thought-leader and go-to resource on best practices for policing of youth

7) Developing related training programs based upon feedback that we receive from communities. These include developing and offering a separate program for School Resource Officers, a campaign entitled “In the Presence of Children” aimed at reducing the trauma youth experience upon observing a parent’s arrest and “Parenting the Teen Brain,” which teaches parents how to avoid escalating interactions with their adolescent children and reduce reliance upon law enforcement to respond to these interactions.





3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

1. Exceptionally talented, dedicated, and capable staff who manage each component of the overall program;
2. A strong national network of relationships with police organizations, advocacy groups, and youth-serving organizations;
3. A growing reputation as experts in this field among media organizations, youth-serving organizations, and philanthropic organizations;
4. Increasing operating budget based on contracts, individual and institutional gifts;
5. Pro bono assistance from national law firms that allow us to conduct rigorous research on selected topics.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We define progress by:
  1. Growing numbers of police departments and youth-serving organizations that have used, or seek to use, our services, educational and training programs;
  2. Written and oral evaluations/feedback we receive about these programs from participants;
  3. Reductions in arrests and other data collected by organizations in the aftermath of our programs;
  4. Citing of our programs and reports in amicus briefs, congressional and state testimony, and at other public events;
  5. Increased referral to us by the media to comment on events related to our mission.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Our ultimate goal is to change the orientation of policing in every district and county in the country toward a developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed approach where arrest is considered the last, not first, resort.  This would also mean that all police officers received training in adolescent psychology, brain science and de-escalation strategies, and were recruited, promoted, and evaluated on their ability to successfully master these strategies.  While we have a long way to go to realize this goal across the country, we continue to make steady progress toward reaching a growing number of youth and police officers, and toward making steady improvements in the quality of our training, as reflected by surveys and feedback.  The data we receive from individual counties and districts on arrests also indicate that our trainings are having the desired effect of reducing police reliance upon arrests and increasing their partnerships with youth-serving organizations located in the community.