Southwest Key Programs offers community-based social services as an alternative to detention and long-term incarceration for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The agency is nationally recognized as a leader in the provision of caring and effective programming for at-risk youth and their families.

The Community Connections Program (CCP) provides services to adjudicated youths between the ages of 10 and 17. These youths are on probation, have been incarcerated in state juvenile justice institutions, and have been placed in residential specialized secure treatment facilities and residential placements, or are at high risk for placement if they do not find success in CCP. The program combines the concepts of wraparound case management, crisis intervention, youth and family driven service planning, skills development, community collaborations and linkages – all to create a holistic approach to guiding youths and families and offering them the tools to be successful while maintaining safety and accountability.

Southwest Key internal data suggest indicators of positive outcomes for this target population but are lacking a model clarification process and have not developed and tested tools to conduct a comprehensive process evaluation of the model to establish fidelity, and empirical research to demonstrate effectiveness. This project addresses these issues, with the main goal of demonstrating empirical evidence of program success for CCP with a primary population of youth of color. Project tasks include creating a set of comprehensive, reliable and valid fidelity measures and protocols, conducting a program process evaluation, and developing and implementing a quasi-experimental outcome evaluation and sampling plan.