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Evaluation of the Children at Risk Program: Results 1 Year After the End of the Program, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1999
12 pages
Publication Series
This paper presents the methodology and findings of an evaluation of the Children at Risk (CAR) drug and delinquency prevention program for high-risk adolescents 11-13 years old.
All of the children lived in narrowly defined, severely distressed neighborhoods in Austin, Tex.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Memphis Tenn.; Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle, Wash. The CAR experimental demonstrations tested the feasibility and impact of integrated delivery of a broad range of services to the 338 participating youths and all members of their households. Case managers collaborated closely with staff from criminal justice agencies, schools, and other community organizations to provide comprehensive, individualized services that targeted neighborhood, peer-group, family, and individual risk factors. The evaluation examined whether CAR youths and families participated in more services and prosocial activities during the program than control youths and families (333 youths) and comparison (203 youths) groups. The evaluation also determined whether CAR youths and caregivers had fewer risk factors and/or more protective factors than youths and caregivers in the control and comparison groups 1 year after the program ended. Further, the evaluation considered whether CAR youths were less likely to exhibit problem behaviors in the year following the end of the program. Findings show that, compared to control and comparison youths, CAR youths participated in significantly more positive activities; used more services; received more positive peer group support, associated less often with delinquent peers, and felt less peer pressure; and were significantly less likely to have used gateway and serious drugs, sold drugs, or committed violent crimes in the year after the program ended. 3 figures

Date Published: November 1, 1999