Throughout her career, Evelyn Frankford’s passion has been to help youth and young adults, especially those that tend to be marginalized or excluded, find their way into satisfying and productive adult lives.
She does this by helping public agencies and community institutions responsible for mental health, education, child welfare, and workforce preparation better organize their initiatives to help youth navigate complex developmental transitions.
Of late, she has used her knowledge of state government in New York, Massachusetts, and elsewhere to pursue sustainability strategies that build on assets and strengths – both personal and systems – and that help stakeholders connect to the contemporary policy environment.
Evelyn’s experience in systems work focuses on sustainability of evidence-based interventions that promote youth mental health in schools and communities, interventions that too often start and stop in pilot projects.
- Evelyn’s commitment to universal approaches for all youth has shaped her approach to policy and program development for Transition Age Youth and Young Adults (Emerging Adults), people ages 16-25 who have experienced public systems because of their mental health challenges. Her work links behavioral health services with education and employment programs. See this article for Evelyn’s approach.
- With the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at George Washington University, (www.healthinschools.org), she helped to create a web-based tool: Partner, Build, Grow: An Action Guide for Sustaining Child Development and Prevention Approaches. In September 2019, the Journal of Youth Development published our article describing this work.
After Evelyn got her Master’s in Social Work at New York University in community organizing and public policy, she started out working in settlement houses in New York City’s Lower East Side. Then, for many years, she worked for an independent public policy analysis and advocacy organization in Albany, New York,
Along the way, she learned how state government works – the legislative process, regulations, budgets, inter-agency collaboration – and especially how to create partnerships of outside organizations and coalitions (policy researchers, advocates, providers, family groups) with inside policy leaders (in the legislature and the executive branches) to achieve policy goals and get solid sustainable programs.