In bringing together what practitioners in the field of at-risk youth have found to be effective practices, this book reflects the experiences of many communities in their efforts to build an infrastructure to solve problems and build stronger communities. It allows all levels of government to participate and to be guided by local community determination. It focuses on programs that make a difference, outlining the developmental continuum through collaborating, partnering, and building. The book is divided into five major parts. Part 1 presents and discusses the necessity in having a continuum of developmentally appropriate, performance-based services for youth, thereby enabling the community to help at-risk youth. Part 2 examines flourishing local partnerships that prepare children for school, focusing on the local partnerships in North Carolina and the application of a life cycle model of community development which responds to the developmental needs of the child. In part 3, critical elements in successful school-based initiatives aimed at increasing parental participation are identified. Part 4 discusses and presents alternative learning programs and strategies that address the needs of at-risk children. Lastly, part 5 presents and discusses juvenile day treatment which exemplifies a continuum of developmentally appropriate services for youth in preparing them for independence as young adults.