What modifications, or adaptations, should be made to fit the program or best practices with your needs?
Reviewing for fit takes the few programs you selected when you looked into best practices (usually 2-4 interventions) and checks if they match the needs and values of participating youth and the surrounding community. Distinguishing a good “fit” involves not only matching a program with the needs of the youth, but also aligning the program with the values of the community (or working with the community to build their support for the programming) and making sure that the program fills a need and doesn’t duplicate programming elsewhere.
Completing this process should further narrow your list of possible program choices. It may highlight areas where you may need to adapt potential programming. Use this information to decide if you can implement the programming with fidelity (and possibly with some adaptation) or if it may not be a good “fit” after all.
What if I am already running a program?
If you are looking to improve or expand an existing program assessing your current programs “fit” will help either reassure that this program is the right program for that population or highlight areas where you can strengthen the programming you offer. You may find that this process indicates areas where you might make changes to current program, offer additional services, or even consider changing the programming you deliver. (See also: Framework)
Benefits to Assessing for Fit
Fit will help you align best practices and prevention strategies to fit the population you serve. Evaluating a program’s fit increases the chances it will be appropriate to and accepted by the community and participating youth. It will also indicate areas you may need to adapt a program if you choose to move forward with it.
Tasks to Assess for Fit
- Using your “short list” of program (2-4), assess program fit with your youth, organization, and stakeholder community including:
- If youth similar to the youth you serve have been help with this intervention;
- Whether or not the activities are socially and developmentally appropriate;
- Whether or not the activities are culturally appropriate for this population; and
- If the youth you serve will enjoy this programming.
- Review how well this programming aligns with your organization’s mission, leadership, and work plan.
- Determine if you’d need to adapt the programming to better “fit.”
- Use this information to further narrow your “short list” of programs.
What If I’m Not Ready for This Step?
Healthy Teen Network Resources
- Capacity-Building Assistance, Training, TA, and Other Services
- See our full list of Healthy Teen Network Assessment resources
- What’s In Your Toolbox? GTO Webinar Series
- Tool: Program Fit Checklist
- Tip Sheet: Best Practices for Community Engagement
- Engaging Community: Collaborating to Leverage Funding and Resources: A Strategic Plan to Reduce Teen Births in Baltimore City
- Strategic Plan to Reduce Teen Births in Baltimore City
- Engaging Youth…On Their Turf: Creative Approaches to Connecting Youth through Community