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How do we know if we are helping youth and families to thrive?

You likely know that the Statewide Plan of Work for 4-H Youth Development has recently been updated to help align youth programs to 4-H Thriving Model outcomes (are we helping youth to find and nurture sparks, experience developmental relationships, and opportunities to contribute to communities?). A short video describing the changes and the background can be found here Statewide Plan of Work Update Video (5 minutes) or the full plan can be found here 4-H Statewide Plan of Work.

Some have asked - how will we report on the new outcomes? How can we evaluate to understand if we are helping youth and families to thrive? This update is to share what the 4-H Evaluation Working Group is exploring to answer those questions. Discussions and work have helped us to recognize questions and concerns like:

  • There are a ton of tools out there.  Adapting and modifying can be tricky.   

  • We don't have to do everything and we can be intentional about what impacts we measure.

  • How do we build capacity together especially with the introduction of the 4-H Thriving Model. 

  • Where should we start? 

  • Who decides which measure to use?

  • What trainings will be offered? 

We've started to collect: your success stories that demonstrate how 4-H is building an environment where youth and families can thrive, tools that can be used and adapted, and resources about the 4-H Thriving Model. A cache of ideas is organized in Padlet: Evaluation Planning Group Resources  - we thought that you might be interested in what is shared as this effort unfolds.

Our next steps include - collecting evaluation measures and strategies being used to assess for the outcomes in the new 4-H Youth Development Plan of Work, and developing base tools in Qualtrics etc. that can be used/adapted easily.

Do you have questions, comments, measures that you want to share? Please feel free to reach out to the 4-H Evaluation Working Group (Alexa Maille, Amanda Wittman, Andrea Lista, Andy Turner, Autumn Lavine, Brian Gilchrist, Celeste Carmichael, Jamila Walida Simon, Kelly Campbell, Kristen Elmore, Mel Schroeder, Melanie Forstrom, Mingla Charoenmuang, Timothy Davis). And, stay tuned for resources and recommendations.

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