A National Profile of the Status of Public Recreation Services for At-Risk Children and Youth


  • Lorina Espericueta Schultz
  • John L. Crompton
  • Peter A. Witt


At-risk children and youth, municipal recreation services, recreation services


The study provides a national profile of the extent, gestation, and nature of at-risk youth programs in recreation and park agencies; the goals agencies have established for these programs; agency resource allocations to these programs; and the extent and nature of collaborative arrangements with other organizations. Among the 628 responding agencies (63% response rate), 55% targeted some portion of their programs to include at-risk children and youth. Within this group, 61% offered specifically targeted separate programs, while the other 39% reported that this population was served as part of an overall program without separate programs being offered. Seventy-two percent of the communities offering separate programs have initiated these efforts since 1989. Programs mainly focused on prevention for potential at-risk children and youth. In order to undertake services, agencies were involved in a wide variety of collaborative efforts with the business community, foundations, voluntary agencies, school districts, and law enforcement agencies. Where separate programs were offered, approximately 14% of the agencies' program budgets were devoted to serving at-risk children and youth. The average cost of serving a child for a year was approximately $169.





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