Twelve external evaluations conducted by respected organizations have led YAP to consistently being considered a Best Practice Model.
Youth involved in YAP programs compared with other youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems have:
- higher program completion rates
- lower rates of placement into residential foster care
- lower re-arrest rates
- low numbers of young people who are AWOL
- greater residential stability
Additionally, findings using other measures of success revealed that young person’s served in YAP programs:
- achieved reductions in risks and needs;
- improvements in quality of life
- positive results in education
- enhanced links with community activities
- improvements in social behavior
Finally, findings revealed that YAP served a high-risk and high service need population. For example, juveniles tracked in the Philadelphia study reported high service needs, low self-esteem, low levels of school and family bonding in comparison to similar programs that were evaluated. In addition, youth in the YAP’s Tampa program were more likely to have had a history of outpatient mental health treatment, a history of running away, a history of family violence and a history of substance abuse in their biological families than comparable programs. Youth in the Tampa program were also less likely to have received school based mental health services or alcohol or substance abuse treatment prior to intake. Finally, in YAP Pennsylvania programs for youth with disabilities over 37% of the youth studied have autism.