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Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative: Strategic Planning and Technical Assistance

Metis Associates' longtime association with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs created a natural opportunity for Metis to work with both organizations as they were designing and establishing a new entity called the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. In 2001, Metis Associates was hired by the Initiative to support its mission to help young people make successful transitions from foster care into adult life. In partnership with 10 demonstration grantees, the Initiative aims to improve youth and systems outcomes in six areas—permanence, education, employment, physical and mental health, housing, and personal and community engagement.

From the Initiative's inception, Metis assisted with strategic planning and all aspects of the design. To help the Initiative test its theory of change, Metis has worked collaboratively with its staff and its grantees' staff to evaluate the implementation and outcomes. Metis also provides training and technical assistance on self-evaluation, including supporting the research, evaluation, and information management needs of Initiative and grantee staff as they collect and interpret their data. As part of this work, Metis has developed three automated data-collection systems that support the evaluation and self-evaluation.