Through an annual Congressional appropriation for the National Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Program, NIFA allocates funding to land-grant university extension services for community-based programs for at-risk children and their families. Since 1991, CYFAR has supported programs in more than 600 communities in all states and territories. State and local public and private organizations have contributed cash and in-kind resources that match or exceed the federal appropriation. The CYFAR Program is based on research on effective programs for at-risk youth and families and on the human ecological principle of working across the lifespan in the context of the family and community. To assure that critical needs of children and families are met, CYFAR supports comprehensive, intensive, community-based programs developed with active citizen participation in all phases. CYFAR promotes building resiliency and protective factors in youth, families, and communities. CYFAR supports collaboration--forming lasting partnerships to achieve greater outcomes and to provide a support base for sustaining programs for those at risk. CYFAR also promotes the use of technology to improve programs, provide efficient access to educational resources, and provide essential technological skills for youth and adults in at-risk environments.

Kentucky currently has 2 CYFAR grants – “ Strong Dads, Resilient Families” and "Youth Engagement Support"

  • The "Strong Dads, Resilient Families" grant provides educational programs for fathers/father figures and their families in Todd and Wolfe counties. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen parenting skills of fathers as a means to promote family resiliency. Short-term objectives include an increase in parenting skills and understanding of basic child development among fathers/father figures; increase in community collaborations and partnerships on issues and programs pertaining to fatherhood; and opportunities for fathers/father figures to engage in program planning and evaluation processes. Long term objectives include an increase in the application of effective parenting skills; improvement in the involvement of positive father/father figures in the lives of children; and increase in male involvement within Extension programs and the community. Data are collected using a multi-methods approach to include common measures, other surveys, observation, focus groups and interviews. The program model utilized is the National Extension Parent Education Model (NEPEM). The program vision employs a multi-disciplinary approach that views fathers in the context of the family and community and develops programming based on local needs grounded in research. The national CYFAR outcome addressed is Parent/Family. The primary curriculum to be used in each community site is 24/7 Dad™.
  • The “Youth Engagement and Support” grant provides life skills programs for homeless and unstably housed youth in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The primary goal is for target youth to increase the number of critical life skills they possess to become more self-sufficient. Primary program content includes life skills development, particularly in communication/conflict resolution, decision making/ goal setting, stress/anger management, self-responsibility/boundaries, teamwork, personal safety, healthy lifestyles and workforce preparation. The target audience is homeless and unstably housed youth (ages 12-22) participating in the Jefferson County YMCA Safe Place Services Shelter House or Matt Kubancik Youth Development Center. Short term objectives include youth having an increased awareness and understanding of critical life skills; increased aspirations to become self-sufficient; increased community awareness about homeless youth. Long term objectives include youth increasing their application of critical life skills; youth showing evidence of self-sufficiency; and an increased number of community collaborations working with target youth. Data will be collected using a multi-methods approach. The program model is the YMCA Safe Place Services (SPS) Program Model. This model employs a multidisciplinary Positive Youth Development approach that views youth in the context of family and community and conducts evidence-based programming based on the needs of participating youth. The national CYFAR outcome addressed is Youth. The primary curriculum to be used in each community site is "Tackling the Tough Skills," supplemented by "Skills to Pay the Bills."