Chicago Sets Key Outcomes for Youth Well-being

Chapin Hall works with local coalition to determine metrics

Chapin Hall Executive Director Bryan Samuels interviews Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel at the launch of the Chicago Youth Quality of Life Framework project.

The City of Chicago released its Youth Quality of Life Framework, a tool to set goals for youth well-being and identify programs that have the most positive impacts on the city’s youth.

Chapin Hall joined experts from University of Illinois’ Dept. of Pediatrics, Lurie Children’s Hospital, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Thrive, a broad range of city department staff, and other organizations to determine essential outcomes for youth under four key domains:

  • Chicago youth succeed in school and engage in meaningful post-secondary options.
  • Chicago youth are safe in their communities and in their homes.
  • Chicago youth have healthy relationships with themselves and others.
  • Chicago youth are physically healthy and have access to resources to maintain their health.

For each domain, the team identified existing metrics that will be used to monitor progress, with an accompanying list of programs designed to support that success. (See these details in the complete report.) The goal of the framework is to develop clear goals for future budgets and policies that will positively affect youth.

“Community-wide partnerships are critical to ensuring that our children have the best possible chance to succeed,” said Chapin Hall’s Director of Research Dr. Anne Farrell, who led Chapin Hall’s work with this coalition. Dr. Forrest Moore, Emily Wiegand, and Dr. Jennifer Axelrod also contributed to this work.

“Chapin Hall’s role in this working group was to provide evidence and help determine what to measure – to close the gap between what we know and what we do,” said Farrell. “By measuring the right outcomes, and evaluating programs effectively, we can ensure that we are investing in work that will keep Chicago’s youth safer, healthier, and in school.”

Chapin Hall experts contributed to determining the best metrics to track for different age groups and domains, such as physical health and education. We then engaged community stakeholders to help us prioritize indicators that are most relevant and actionable.

Chapin Hall applauds this initial effort to monitor quality of life and looks forward to continuing and expanding its contributions to program implementation and progress measurement. “The best plans are modified across time in keeping with change and challenge along with community and family input,” said Farrell. “We’re excited to continue this partnership in the future.”