The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) conducts in-depth evaluation of the community programs throughout implementation to ensure that each program is being completed as designed. VFHY staff members review each grant as it is administered, including evaluating quarterly reports and conducting site visits to see the programs in action. In addition, VFHY contracts with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to evaluate the programs on a statewide level to gauge their effectiveness, and to identify factors that will assist in developing and strengthening the effectiveness of VFHY’s youth tobacco-use prevention programs in the future.
The assessment of the extent to which a program has achieved its goals.
Grant Programs & Education
VFHY provides funding to organizations throughout the state of Virginia offering tobacco-use prevention and cessation programs for youth. Each of these funded organizations provides one or more compendium or supplemental programs specified by VFHY and recognized by national and state organizations as a model, effective or promising program.
Previous statewide efforts provided a comprehensive evaluation of the programs conducted by VFHY grantees serving youth ages 9 and older. The evaluation instruments consisted of pre-tests and post-tests designed to measure VFHY’s core objectives: current tobacco use; intention to smoke; perceived benefits of remaining tobacco free; knowledge about the harmful effects of tobacco; and self-efficacy.
Among participating youth during the 2010-11 school year, all core objectives for evaluation were deemed to have been achieved.
VFHY currently contracts with the VCU Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies to conduct concept mapping evaluation of VFHY grant programs for both tobacco-use and obesity prevention.
This innovative strategy to program evaluation will collect data related to youth attention, engagement and participation in funded programs. Findings will assist in reducing barriers to success and increasing the long-term sustainability of positive program outcomes beyond the initial years of the grants.