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Pace Center for Girls

A set of gender-responsive prevention and early intervention programs and services for girls with multiple risk factors for juvenile justice system involvement, which uses a holistic approach to re-engage girls with learning, improve academic performance, and address the underlying trauma that contributes to female delinquency.

Program Outcomes

  • Academic Performance
  • Truancy - School Attendance

Program Type

  • Counseling and Social Work
  • School - Environmental Strategies
  • School - Individual Strategies

Program Setting

  • School

Continuum of Intervention

  • Selective Prevention

Age

  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School
  • Early Adolescence (12-14) - Middle School

Gender

  • Female

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Endorsements

Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Yessica Cancel
Chief Operating Officer
Pace Center for Girls
6745 Phillips Industrial Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: (904) 253-6185
Email: yessica.cancel@pacecenter.org
Website: pacecenter.org

 

Program Developer/Owner

Yessica Cancel
Pace Center for Girls


Brief Description of the Program

Pace Center for Girls (Pace) currently operates 21 nonresidential, year-round centers across the state of Florida that incorporate gender-responsive, trauma -informed and strength-based principles and practices. Girls in this voluntary program attend Pace daily during normal school hours and receive comprehensive academic and social services, including assessment and care planning, academic instruction and advising, a life skills curriculum, individual and group counseling, volunteer service and work readiness opportunities, and transition and follow-up services. Girls typically plan to attend Pace for about one year and often return to public schools in their communities to complete their education.

Outcomes

The study found improved outcomes among the treatment group, as compared to the control group, at the 12-18 month follow-up for:

  • academic engagement,
  • academic progress, and
  • disciplinary actions

Brief Evaluation Methodology

Girls who had applied and were eligible for Pace were randomly assigned to the treatment group or referred to other services as a control group. Follow-up measures, including a survey and administrative records, were collected between 12 and 18 months after program enrollment. The measures considered academic outcomes, interpersonal relationships, juvenile justice, and risky behavior.

Study 1

Millenky, M., Treskon, L., Freedman, L., & Mage, C. (2019). Focusing on girls' futures: Results from the evaluation of PACE Center for Girls. MDRC, January 2019.


Risk Factors

Individual: Antisocial/aggressive behavior, Stress

Peer: Interaction with antisocial peers

Family: Family conflict/violence, Low socioeconomic status, Poor family management

School: Low school commitment and attachment*, Poor academic performance*

Protective Factors

Individual: Academic self-efficacy, Coping Skills, Prosocial behavior, Prosocial involvement, Skills for social interaction


* Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program

See also: Pace Center for Girls Logic Model (PDF)

Gender Specific Findings
  • Female
Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details
All findings were for female students, and the study did not disaggregate findings by race/ethnicity.

Pace Center for Girls, founded in 1985, began programming in Jacksonville, FL and now includes 21 centers throughout the state of Florida. The Pace Day Program Model is currently implemented by Teachers and Counselors. In each location, Teachers and Counselors are supported by a leadership team including: Social Services Manager, Academic Manager, Program Director and Executive Director.

Pace's National Office provides technical assistance and support through the following: 1) in-person trainings, 2) live webinars, 3) e-learning courses, and 4) phone calls.  Several departments are involved in this effort: 1) Learning and Development Department: provides trainings to support Pace's culture and guiding principles; 2) Social Services Department: provides expert support to Day Program Counselors; 3) Academic Department: provides expert support to Day Program Teaching staff; and 4) Enterprise Information Services Department: supports documentation in management of information system.

While this is not a program for purchase, Pace staff members are available to train others on its foundational pillars. See Program Information Contact listed on the Fact Sheet.

Source: Washington State Institute for Public Policy
All benefit-cost ratios are the most recent estimates published by The Washington State Institute for Public Policy for Blueprint programs implemented in Washington State. These ratios are based on a) meta-analysis estimates of effect size and b) monetized benefits and calculated costs for programs as delivered in the State of Washington. Caution is recommended in applying these estimates of the benefit-cost ratio to any other state or local area. They are provided as an illustration of the benefit-cost ratio found in one specific state. When feasible, local costs and monetized benefits should be used to calculate expected local benefit-cost ratios. The formula for this calculation can be found on the WSIPP website.

Start-Up Costs

Initial Training and Technical Assistance

The Pace Day Program is currently available in 21 locations across the state of Florida.  The program is only available for implementation within the Pace network. Materials are not available for purchase and cannot be ordered. Nevertheless, Pace staff members are available to train others on its foundational pillars. See Program Information Contact listed on the Fact Sheet.

Curriculum and Materials

No information is available

Licensing

No information is available

Other Start-Up Costs

No information is available

Intervention Implementation Costs

Ongoing Curriculum and Materials

No information is available

Staffing

No information is available

Other Implementation Costs

No information is available

Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

Ongoing Training and Technical Assistance

No information is available

Fidelity Monitoring and Evaluation

No information is available

Ongoing License Fees

No information is available

Other Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

No information is available

Other Cost Considerations

No information is available

Year One Cost Example

Funding Overview

Pace Center for Girls receives funding from many sources with the greatest portion coming from State of Florida, Department of Juvenile Justice. Considerable funding is also received through foundations, private partnerships, and Federal awards. 

Program Developer/Owner

Yessica CancelChief Operating OfficerPace Center for Girls6745 Phillips Industrial BoulevardJacksonville, FL 32256(904) 253-6185yessica.cancel@pacecenter.org pacecenter.org

Program Outcomes

  • Academic Performance
  • Truancy - School Attendance

Program Specifics

Program Type

  • Counseling and Social Work
  • School - Environmental Strategies
  • School - Individual Strategies

Program Setting

  • School

Continuum of Intervention

  • Selective Prevention

Program Goals

A set of gender-responsive prevention and early intervention programs and services for girls with multiple risk factors for juvenile justice system involvement, which uses a holistic approach to re-engage girls with learning, improve academic performance, and address the underlying trauma that contributes to female delinquency.

Population Demographics

Girls aged 11 to 18 who exhibit risk factors associated with delinquency, including trauma, academic failure, chronic truancy, dropping out of school and poor mental health.

Target Population

Age

  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School
  • Early Adolescence (12-14) - Middle School

Gender

  • Female

Gender Specific Findings

  • Female

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

All findings were for female students, and the study did not disaggregate findings by race/ethnicity.

Other Risk and Protective Factors

Protective factors include coping and advocacy skills, positive relationships, and smooth transition to adulthood plus access to gender-responsive support services.

Risk/Protective Factor Domain

  • Individual
  • School

Risk/Protective Factors

Risk Factors

Individual: Antisocial/aggressive behavior, Stress

Peer: Interaction with antisocial peers

Family: Family conflict/violence, Low socioeconomic status, Poor family management

School: Low school commitment and attachment*, Poor academic performance*

Protective Factors

Individual: Academic self-efficacy, Coping Skills, Prosocial behavior, Prosocial involvement, Skills for social interaction


*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program

See also: Pace Center for Girls Logic Model (PDF)

Brief Description of the Program

Pace Center for Girls (Pace) currently operates 21 nonresidential, year-round centers across the state of Florida that incorporate gender-responsive, trauma -informed and strength-based principles and practices. Girls in this voluntary program attend Pace daily during normal school hours and receive comprehensive academic and social services, including assessment and care planning, academic instruction and advising, a life skills curriculum, individual and group counseling, volunteer service and work readiness opportunities, and transition and follow-up services. Girls typically plan to attend Pace for about one year and often return to public schools in their communities to complete their education.

Description of the Program

Pace Center for Girls (Pace) encompasses a set of gender-responsive prevention and early intervention programs and services for girls with multiple risk factors for juvenile justice system involvement including academic failure, chronic truancy, and dropping out of school.  Pace uses a balanced, holistic approach to re-engage girls with learning, improve academic performance, and to address the underlying trauma that contributes to female delinquency.  The Pace model provides the full academic school day and social service interventions in a safe, trauma-informed, strengths-based environment that reflects an understanding of the lives of girls and responds to their unique needs and challenges.

During a typical day at Pace, girls attend daily core academic classes, including language arts, math, social studies, life skills, and science. Every other week, or as needed, girls attend individual and group counseling sessions that focus on fostering positive behavioral change.  Weekly, or as needed, girls also attend academic advising sessions to plan and monitor academic progress.

Theoretical Rationale

Pace's gender-responsive model is based on the understanding that an awareness of girls' developmental needs must be foundational to providing appropriate delinquency prevention services to girls. Informed by Relational Cultural Theory, which posits that people need connection to others to change, heal and grow, Pace emphasizes the centrality of relationships in the lives of girls and young women. Trauma theory is also critical to Pace, as the vast majority of girls have experienced physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and girls' delinquent behaviors are often strategies for coping with past trauma. In addition to emphasizing gender-responsive principles and practices, Pace is guided by a set of cultural values and guiding principles.

Theoretical Orientation

  • Skill Oriented
  • Social Learning

Brief Evaluation Methodology

Girls who had applied and were eligible for Pace were randomly assigned to the treatment group or referred to other services as a control group. Follow-up measures, including a survey and administrative records, were collected between 12 and 18 months after program enrollment. The measures considered academic outcomes, interpersonal relationships, juvenile justice, and risky behavior.

Outcomes (Brief, over all studies)

The study found improved outcomes among the treatment group, as compared to the control group, at the 12-18 month follow-up for measures of academic engagement, academic progress, and disciplinary actions but not for measures in the other domains.

Outcomes

The study found improved outcomes among the treatment group, as compared to the control group, at the 12-18 month follow-up for:

  • academic engagement,
  • academic progress, and
  • disciplinary actions

Mediating Effects

The study did not conduct formal mediator analyses.

Effect Size

The study did not report effect sizes.

Generalizability

The study used a large sample in one state, so generalizability may be limited.

Potential Limitations

  • No information on reliability and validity of survey measures
  • No controls for baseline outcomes, though no differences were found in baseline measures
  • Some baseline differences between survey respondents and nonrespondents

Endorsements

Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Yessica Cancel
Chief Operating Officer
Pace Center for Girls
6745 Phillips Industrial Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: (904) 253-6185
Email: yessica.cancel@pacecenter.org
Website: pacecenter.org

 

References

Study 1

Certified

Millenky, M., Treskon, L., Freedman, L., & Mage, C. (2019). Focusing on girls' futures: Results from the evaluation of PACE Center for Girls. MDRC, January 2019.

Study 1

Evaluation Methodology

Design:

Recruitment: The sample of girls aged 11-18 included those eligible for the program because they were at risk in multiple domains (academics, juvenile justice, bullying, and trauma). The girls were referred from partners such as the school district, Department of Juvenile Justice, and community-based organizations, and directly from the girls' families. The 14 Centers in the study (of 21 total) were located in the state of Florida and were studied during the 2013-2016 period.

Assignment: Girls who applied to and were deemed eligible for Pace enrolled in the study and were assigned at random either to a program group, whose members were offered Pace services, or to a control group, whose members received appropriate referrals to other services in the community. A total of 1,125 girls (673 in the program group, 452 in the control group) were enrolled over a period of more than two years (from August 2013 to November 2015). Random assignment was stratified at the center level; among each center's study enrollees, 60 percent were assigned to the program group and 40 percent to the control group. Some Centers paused the randomization during the enrollment process, but girls accepted into the program during the pause were excluded from the study. Overall, 39-70% of girls in the Centers participated in the study.

Assessments/Attrition: A follow-up survey was conducted approximately one year after enrollment, and juvenile justice involvement was followed for up to 18 months after enrollment. With the program typically lasting one year, the follow-ups were not long-term. At the one-year follow-up, 76-79% of participants answered survey questions. There was no attrition at the 18-month follow-up.

Sample: Most girls were between 13 and 16 at the time of study enrollment; the average age across the sample was 14.7. Just over half the sample came from single-parent households. At the time of study enrollment, 40% of participants had been recently expelled or suspended from school and just over half had been held back at least once. Over a quarter of the sample reported a prior arrest. Almost half of participants (44%) reported ever having been sexually active, 38% reported having been abused or neglected, and 15% reported using drugs or alcohol.

Measures: The survey measures, obtained by phone or in person, included academic progress and engagement, risky behavior, and youth development. Participants' involvement in the criminal justice system was measured with administrative records from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Records from the Florida Department of Education provided measures of academic progress, academic engagement, and disciplinary actions. Finally, the study conducted semistructured phone interviews with 52 girls and 40 parents.

Analysis: The study conducted regression-adjusted analyses, controlling for pre-random assignment characteristics, including age, juvenile justice involvement, and race/ethnicity. The models included site fixed effects to control for assignment stratified by site but did not include controls for baseline outcomes.

Intent-to-Treat: The study appeared to use all available data, excluding only those who did not complete the follow-up survey.

Outcomes

Implementation Fidelity: The study found that the treatment group received significantly more academic and social services than the control group.

Baseline Equivalence: Tables C.1 and C.2 present tests for the full randomized sample. In over 50 tests, there were no significant differences (at p = .05).

Differential Attrition: The study found significant differences between survey respondents and nonrespondents for three measures: % skipped school at least 3 times in the past 2 months, % ever involved with the juvenile justice system in the past 6 months, and % ever run away from home. However, Table B.2 tested for baseline equivalence with the analysis sample of survey respondents. In 20 tests, there were no significant differences.

Posttest: Overall, in 47 tests, the study found significant program effects on education and academic measures, but the program had little impact otherwise.

  • Education Outcomes at One Year, Administrative Data. Table 3.1 shows 11 significant effects in 15 tests. Pace led to significant positive impacts on measures of enrollment, attendance, credits earned, and suspensions.
  • Academic Progress at One Year, Survey Data. Table 3.2 shows 2 significant effects in 5 tests. The program significantly increased months enrolled and significantly lowered unexcused absences.
  • Social Support and Interpersonal Relationships at One year, Survey Data. Table 3.3 shows no significant effects in 12 tests.
  • Risky Behavior at One Year, Survey Data. Table 3.4 shows 1 significant effect for lower property incidents in 7 tests.
  • Juvenile Justice at 18 Months, Administrative Data. Figure 3.1 shows no significant effects in 5 tests.
  • Positive Outlook at One Year, Survey Data. Table 3.5 shows 1 significant effect for higher positive outlook in 7 tests.

Additional analyses (Appendix tables G.2 and G.3) found no significant effects in 9 tests for risky behavior and mental health outcomes and no significant effects in 21 tests for juvenile justice involvement.

Additional subgroup analyses suggested that the treatment effects occurred mainly among older participants, those not previously involved with the juvenile justice system, those who had not been previously suspended or expelled, and those who had not been held back a grade.

Long-Term: The study did not include a long-term follow-up.

Contact

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
University of Colorado Boulder
Institute of Behavioral Science
UCB 483, Boulder, CO 80309

Email: blueprints@colorado.edu

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Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development is
currently funded by Arnold Ventures (formerly the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) and historically has received funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.