CYFAR Program Overview
Through an annual Congressional appropriation
for the National Children, Youth, and Families
at Risk (CYFAR) Program, NIFA allocates
funding to land-grant university extension
services for community-based programs for
at-risk children and their families. Since
1991, CYFAR has supported programs in more
than 600 communities in all states and territories.
State and local public and private organizations
have contributed cash and in-kind resources
that match or exceed the federal appropriation.
The CYFAR Program is based on research on
effective programs for at-risk youth and
families and on the human ecological principle
of working across the lifespan in the context
of the family and community. To assure that
critical needs of children and families are
met, CYFAR supports comprehensive, intensive,
community-based programs developed with active
citizen participation in all phases. CYFAR
promotes building resiliency and protective
factors in youth, families, and communities.
CYFAR supports collaboration--forming lasting
partnerships to achieve greater outcomes
and to provide a support base for sustaining
programs for those at risk. CYFAR also promotes
the use of technology to improve programs,
provide efficient access to educational resources,
and provide essential technological skills
for youth and adults in at-risk environments.
Sustainable Communities (SCP) projects serve as the NIFA mechanism for funding community-based projects and expanding statewide capacity for supporting and sustaining programming for at risk youth and families. NIFA currently provides funding to 42 land-grant university extension services for SCP projects. These community programs serve 26,600 youth ages pre-K to 19 and their parents. These state CYFAR projects call for collaboration across disciplines, program areas, and geographic lines, as well as a holistic approach that views the individual in the context of the family and community.
In the interest of sustaining and expanding
community programs for at-risk children and
families, the CYFAR Initiative also funds
a broad variety of support and technical
A new and innovative evaluation capacity-building website, CYFERnet SEARCH, has recently been launched by the CYFERnet Evaluation Team at the University of Arizona. The CYFERnet SEARCH site offers numerous interactive features including online logic model and survey builders, which are designed to support and enhance program evaluation capacity. Additional resources on the website include a listing of the seven CYFAR approved common measures (including psychometrics) in the areas of leadership development, nutrition, parenting, physical activity, science, technology, and workforce preparation; interactive learning modules addressing a variety of evaluation topics; and additional evaluation instruments that assess a wide variety of constructs. The website was developed to support the overall Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) initiative, however the site is also available for use by the general public.
Children, Youth, and Families Education
a national network of land grant university
faculty and county Extension educators working
to provide resources to community educational
programs for children, youth, and families.
CYFERnet works across all land-grant universities
to solicit and review publications, quality
research information and program materials
for Children, Youth, and Families at Risk
(CYFAR) staff and others implementing programs.
More than 30 universities collaborate on
CYFERnet. Anyone can submit educational materials
to CYFERnet for review and web publication.
Computers and Internet Connectivity
NIFA provides computers, electronic access,
and training in essential technology skills
to staff, youth, and adults in CYFAR community
University faculty provide technical assistance
to CYFAR community and state projects and
link them to resources of CYFERnet and NIFA.
These CYFAR liaisons also provide feedback
to NIFA regarding impact and needs of community
programs for at-risk youth and families.
Each year more than 900 Extension staff,
collaborators, and volunteers participate
in the national
CYFAR conference, sponsored by NIFA
and planned by university and county faculty
representing CYFERnet and CYFAR projects.
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