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Children, Youth, and Families at Risk Philosophy

A significant proportion of American children are at substantial risk for negative outcomes: infant mortality, undernourishment, abuse, neglect, poor health, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, crime, violence, and academic underachievement, due to family, community, social, political, and economic conditions which they have not created. Poverty exacerbates most other risk factors, and it is the central reason that many children and families do not thrive. The focus of the CYFAR program is children and youth who face the risk of not acquiring the basic skills they need to become responsible family members, participants in the work force or contributing citizens.

The CYFAR mission is to marshal resources of the Land-Grant and Cooperative Extension Systems so that, in collaboration with other organizations, they can develop and deliver educational programs that equip youth who are at risk for not meeting basic human needs with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, contributing lives. 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. CYFAR supports comprehensive, intensive, community-based programs developed with active citizen participation. CYFAR promotes positive youth and family development by supporting healthy environments and providing opportunities for learning and leadership by youth and adults in their communities.


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