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Bayes Impact to help Youth Villages enhance Intercept program for children and families

April 29, 2015
Sarah Hurley, Ph. D., managing director - data science for Youth Villages (center) is working with data scientists Stephan Gabler (left) and Medhi Jamei of Bayes Impact to find trends and answer questions that can lead to program enhancements.

Sarah Hurley, Ph. D., managing director – data science for Youth Villages (center), is working with data scientists Stephan Gabler (left) and Mehdi Jamei of Bayes Impact to find trends and answer questions that can lead to program enhancements.

Youth Villages is excited to partner with Bayes Impact, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that aims to bring data science solutions to big social problems, on a project that will help enhance Youth Villages’ positive results for children and families.

Bayes Impact draws data scientists from some of the largest technology companies and universities, including Google, Eventbrite and Uber, to serve for a time as Bayes Fellows, who use their skills for the greater social good.

In their Youth Villages project, the Bayes Fellows will study Youth Villages’ extensive data resources, including clinical and staff data, for factors that influence long-term outcomes for youth served in Youth Villages’ Intercept® program. They will use sophisticated data engineering and statistical techniques to find trends and answer questions that can lead to program enhancements.

“We’ve always wanted to use our data to answer this one big question,” said Sarah Hurley, Ph.D., managing director of data science for Youth Villages. “‘What program activities are most likely to produce a positive long-term outcome for youth and families with a particular set of characteristics?’”

The project not only will help answer this specific question, but also will provide Youth Villages with a set of tools for answering additional questions about the clinical and operational aspects of programs. This knowledge transfer is a critical part of Bayes Impact’s work, as it extends the impact of the Fellows far beyond each project by enabling the organization to carry on the data science work. With the help of Bayes Impact and their data scientists, Youth Villages will be able to make substantial improvements to our services for youth and families.

“Youth Villages with its evidence-based methods is the perfect partner for a data science project,” said Stephan Gabler, Bayes Impact data scientist. “They have the data and they are willing to change their behavior based on new insight.”

More than 15 years of detailed outcomes evaluation have placed Youth Villages at the forefront of applied research in the treatment of children with emotional and behavioral problems and their families. In this field of research, Youth Villages has accumulated one of the most extensive datasets in the country. Led by Hurley, the research department collects and analyzes data gathered from youth in all Youth Villages programs, then uses the findings to make program and organization improvements. By partnering with a nonprofit like Bayes Impact, Youth Villages’ extensive data and research can reach their greatest potential.

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