No, we don’t work directly with kids. We’re an “intermediary.”
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
Have you ever wondered, “what exactly is the role of an intermediary organization like School’s Out Washington?” Intermediary organizations usually do not provide direct services and programming to children and youth therefore their function and purpose can sometimes seem more abstract. However, intermediaries play a key role in creating systems to support programming and providing training, professional development opportunities, advocacy and other functions that support and unify a field.
On our website, we talk specifically about the services and focus of our work as an intermediary organization in promoting quality standards, advocating for increased resources and access to programs for all young people, and serving as a clearinghouse of research and resources for the afterschool and youth development (AYD) field.
As we work to better understand the role of an intermediary, a new report released by The Collaborative for Building Afterschool Systems reports provides enlightening findings based on a survey of over 200 intermediary organizations across the country. Making the Connections: A Report on the First National Survey of Out-of-School Time Intermediary Organizations, provides us with a better understand of what intermediaries do, pinpoint how they’ve made the greatest gains and suggest ways for spreading the progress to other cities and regions.
Just a sampling of some of the findings include:
- Intermediaries play import roles in increasing funding and developing quality standards and tools. Use of quality standards and tools is widespread among intermediaries that have been working in OST (out-of-school time) for more than three years.
- Intermediaries identify as their most pressing priority the need to expand access to more children who are underserved by expanded learning opportunities. When asked to select their most pressing issues for the next five years, the survey group as a whole identified, in descending order, increasing access for underserved youth (59%); raising funds for programs (46%); and establishing data systems to drive quality (35%).
We encourage you to browse our website and check-out our various programs and projects that benefit the AYD field in Washington State, as well as our resources section which will provide you with links to great research and organizations that help make the case for the importance and critical role of AYD programs in supporting positive youth outcomes.
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