Program Impact Tools

Why Should You Evaluate the Impact of Youth Programs?

Evaluation is an important step in the development and improvement of law enforcement youth programs. Since many departments have limited budgets, it is beneficial to know whether or not resources are being allocated to programs that are effective in reducing and preventing juvenile crime, delinquency, and victimization. To assess the impact of youth programs in your department, it is essential to identify key features of the program, including specific goals, objectives, and activities. The steps outlined in this section will enable you to determine the program’s effectiveness on achieving your intended goals—data that can be used in reports within your department or to showcase your youth program externally, to your city or partner agencies. Collecting program data and demonstrating the impact of your program can prove valuable if your department seeks funding opportunities to support youth programs and services.

How Do You Measure the Impact of Your Youth Program?

There are eight steps to begin the impact evaluation process, as illustrated in the diagram below:



Click here to learn more about the eight steps of program impact evaluation.

How Can IACP Help?

IACP has developed several tools for law enforcement departments to help evaluate youth programs and services. These tools will enable you to apply the eight evaluation steps to your department’s youth program.

  • Evaluation Steps: You can apply the eight step evaluation process by identifying your program type, problems, goals, objectives, activities, output data, and outcome measures. Capturing this information will enable you to assess the impact of your program on its intended goals. View definitions and examples of each term.
  • Sample Youth Program Evaluations: View some sample evaluation plans for various law enforcement youth programs. You can tweak these samples to create your own plan for measuring the impact of your program(s).
  • Program Impact Template: This template can help you organize your ideas to guide you through the evaluation process. Use the blank program template to start measuring the impact of your youth programs today!

Questions? For additional assistance in using IACP’s impact evaluation tools, contact us at or call 1-800-THE-IACP x 831.