An Evaluation of the Osborne Association’s Harlem FamilyWorks Program Services: Supporting Families Impacted by Incarceration
Posted in: News
Posted on April 12, 2022
In January 2018, with CJII funding, the Osborne Association launched the Harlem FamilyWorks (HFW) program, an intergenerational enrichment, leadership, and healthy-relationship-building program that served young people, adults, and families who had been impacted by the criminal legal system and who resided in one of the five boroughs of New York City (with a focus on the Central and West Harlem neighborhoods in Manhattan). The program’s staff strove to build participants’ self-efficacy and self-esteem and promote healthy relationships between them and their families and communities.
The program had two tracks: Youth Experience Success (YES) for young people ages 13 to 21, and Healthy Relationship (HR) for parents and caregivers. Both tracks included eight weeks of workshops. The YES curriculum helped young people develop leadership and communication skills, explore college and career opportunities, and exercise advocacy skills to influence change in their communities. The HR curriculum helped adults and caregivers develop healthy communication skills and build relationships and provided them financial-literacy tips and career advice geared toward people impacted by incarceration.
Through CJII, DANY contracted with the Urban Institute in 2019 to conduct a multimethod process evaluation of the HFW program in partnership with Osborne. Broadly, the evaluation aimed to document HFW’s implementation and identify its strengths, barriers to success, and best practices. The objectives for the evaluation were to document program operations, describe stakeholders’ and participants’ perspectives of the program, understand the characteristics of participants the program served, and develop recommendations for strengthening the program.