What Works

Research shows that it is possible for neighborhoods and communities to help every young person become a successful, productive, and caring adult. Here is how:

Outcomes and Influences

Neighborhoods need to focus on the key outcomes that young people must achieve if they are going to develop successfully. They must also be sure that all of the major influences on development are most favorable.

Evidence-Based Kernels

Learn about many simple, evidence-based practices that can help teachers, parents, young people, and others influence young people’s behavior and development.


We describe more than 55 policies that states or communities can adopt to make a huge difference in the success of their youth.


Research over the last 30 years has identified numerous programs that can help young people develop successfully. Neighborhoods that put these programs in place can make a huge difference in the lives of young people and adults alike.

Child Brain Development

Recent advances in neuroscience research have unlocked some of the key functions of brain development that dramatically shape behaviors. What is most compelling is that we now know all our experiences have an impact on the way our brains develop and function, for better or for worse.

Inventory of Current Supports for Successful Youth Development

This inventory is a summary of all the current programs, policies, and practices within a community, which address specific background or immediate influences as identified in the Creating Nurturing Environments Model. By identifying current strategies and understanding how they affect specific influences, neighborhoods can better identify community strengths, resources, gaps, needs, and barriers, and begin to develop a more informed plan of action.