Youth Villages has built a national reputation for offering the most effective programs and services to help emotionally troubled children and their families, and is recognized as a leader in the child welfare community.

Below are some of the accolades, honors and recognition given to the Youth Villages organization and our leadership:

  • Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
    The New York City-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation makes grants to help nonprofit organizations that work with youth from low-income backgrounds strengthen their operations and expand their programs to better serve a larger number of young people. After a comprehensive review of Youth Villages, including the quality of the programs, depth of leadership, financial strength and commitment to using data to assess its programs and make ongoing improvements, EMCF stated, “Although relatively unknown in the youth development field, Youth Villages is one of the strongest and most effective youth programs the Foundation has ever seen.” Since 2004, the Foundation has invested $21.25 million in Youth Villages to develop and implement its business plan.
  • Casey Family Programs
    The nation’s largest operating foundation entirely focused on foster care, Casey Family Programs has worked since 1966 to provide and improve—and ultimately prevent the need for—foster care in the United States. On a recent visit to Youth Villages, Peter Pecora, Professor and Senior Director of Research Services at Casey Family Programs, stated that “Youth Villages has the largest outcome database of its kind in the nation.” In July 2010, Casey Family Programs released a study detailing how Youth Villages had partnered with the state of Tennessee to safely reduce the number of children in foster care by 34% over 10 years. Tennessee DCS Commissioner Dr. Viola Miller celebrated these results, saying, “We could not have achieved these gains without the diligence and vision of partners such as Youth Villages. Together, we are helping to ensure the safety and well-being of the children we all serve.”
  • The Georgia State Senate officially proclaims Feb. 15, 2011, as “Youth Villages Georgia Day” at the State Capitol through Senate Resolution 141 to commend Youth Villages on “their past, present and future work on behalf of children, youth, and their families in this state and throughout our nation.”
  • The White House recognized Youth Villages as a “high-impact, results-oriented” organization in May 2009 in conjunction with the establishment of a Social Innovation Fund to find the most promising nonprofit programs and expand their reach throughout the country. In June of that year, Youth Villages CEO Patrick W. Lawler attended a gathering of nonprofit leaders to meet with President Obama at The White House. Sonal Shah, the White House director of social innovation and civic participation, visited the Youth Villages operations center in May 2010.

“One of the principles underpinning our Office’s mission is the belief that ‘strong programs and organizations measure and evaluate what works and why, continuously improve when presented new information, and invest in the most effective solutions.’ Youth Villages puts that belief into action.” — Sonal Shah, Director, White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

In her keynote address for the opening session of the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes held up Youth Villages as setting a great example for social services organizations (watch below):

  • Youth Villages was named as one of the “50 Best Nonprofits to Work for” in both 2010 and 2011 by The NonProfit Times and Best Companies Group.
  • In 2009, Harvard Business School published a case study about Youth Villages in conjunction with a course titled “Leading and Governing Highly Effective Nonprofit Organizations.” The study explores our innovated treatment approach, use of research in program development and targeted growth strategies.
  • In 2006, U.S. News & World Report featured Lawler as one of “America’s Best Leaders,” along with such notables as investment guru Warren Buffett, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Proctor and Gamble chief A.G. Lafley. The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, whose mission is to further leadership for the common good through excellence in leadership research, education and development.
  • In 2001, Youth Villages was cited in a national report by the American Youth Policy Forum as one of eight “guiding light” models in the United States with programs that successfully reduce the incidence of juvenile crime.
  • The Franklin Covey Company names Youth Villages the recipient of its Humanitarian Service Award at its 7th Annual International Symposium in 2000.
  • Youth Villages was cited as a national model in a study commissioned by the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. in 2000.
  • The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice highlighted Youth Villages in 2000 as a national model in its annual report and calls for other states to implement similar programs.