Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority

An Effective Practice


The Youth Futures Authority, also referred to as the Collaborative, was created to implement the New Futures Initiative, a five-city effort designed to reduce school dropouts and school failure, teen pregnancy, and youth unemployment. YFA's mandate in legislation is to:

1. To develop and adopt a comprehensive plan for public and private agencies to deal effectively with the problems of youth in the Chatham-Savannah Area.
2. To coordinate, evaluate, and provide administrative services and assistance in implementing and carrying out the comprehensive plan developed by the Authority; and
3. To contract with public and private agencies for the purpose of paragraphs (1) and (2) and for such public and private agencies to provide programs and services for youth in order to carry out the provisions of the comprehensive plan developed by the Authority.

Goal / Mission

The Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority (YFA) mission is to create a community collaborative to bring about change in the policies, procedures and funding patterns of community institutions needed to enable the youth of the community to become productive, economically self-sustaining adults.

Results / Accomplishments

1. The rate of infant mortality has dropped from 16.6/1000 in 1992 to 11.6/1000 in 1996 which is a decline from 66 to 40 infant deaths in their first year of life.
2. 1996 marks a significant decline in teen pregnancy rates. For the past four years, they have declined slowly from 66.6/1000 in 1991 to 63.1/1000 in 1994. The rate for 1996 was 54.4/1000 representing a total of 874 pregnancies in girls aged 10-19 down from 1033 pregnancies in the group in 1994.
3. Rates of fully immunized two-year-olds have increased from 62.1% in 1991 to 90.7% in 1996.


-The percentage of students 1.5 or more years overage for grade six has declined from 16% of all sixth grade students to 8.4%. This indicates a far greater proportion of children progressing through school on time.
-Retention rates for sixth graders have declined dramatically from an overall rate of 13.6% in 1991-92 to 6.6%. This represents a decline from 430 to 185 students retained in the sixth grade.

Qualitatively, all Authority members report significant change in their approach to assessing the nature of community problems and the role of their organization in response to those problems. In a summary report the Center for the Study of Social Policy noted: "The collaborative: 1. raised the awareness about the problems of at-risk youth; 2. started a new dialogue among leaders and community representatives; 3. developed rich school-based information systems; 4. created a new body of knowledge around collaboration and local governance 5. demonstrated how to build substantive relationships between the public and private sectors by combining money and leadership and 6. launched new on-going community based decision making structures that outlasted the initial five-year period."

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Dr. Otis Johnson
316 East Bay Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
(912) 651-6810
Education / Student Performance K-12
Health / Teen & Adolescent Health
Economy / Employment
Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority
UN Habitat and Together Foundation
Date of publication
Savannah, GA
For more details

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