Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

David Roseborough


Social Work


Previous studies have identified the time following the end of the school day as posing potential risks for youth who are not in programming or with a supportive adult. Youth lacking either may struggle with academic success and positive peer engagement. The purpose of this study was to explore some potential best practices in after school programming for youth who are deemed at risk, in order to support more interaction with and success in these programs designed, in part, to decrease risk. The principal investigator interviewed six participants who actively work with youth in after school programs, for youth between the ages of eight and fourteen, who have been identified as “at risk.” The interviews were then analyzed and coded. Initial themes emerged among all participants. The themes that were broadly recognized among interviewees included: defining at-risk, holding environments, and programming. These themes gave voice to the strengths and limitations within existing programming. Collectively the findings supported: relationship building, programming dynamics necessary to increase youth engagement, and looking at the holistic picture of the youth (i.e. self, family, school, work, and community). Implications are discussed as are suggestions for future research.

Included in

Social Work Commons