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After-school intermediaries connect the many stakeholders in an after-school system. These include children and families, public schools, neighborhoods, foundations, and local governments. Intermediaries also build the capacity of after-school programs and provide training and technical assistance to program providers. Their independence frees them to build systems that are stronger, more versatile, and more responsive than systems which are managed by cities or public schools alone.

Core Functions of Intermediaries

  • Brokering Relationships: They draw program providers, funders, policymakers, schools and other stakeholders into functioning alliances around issues of mutual importance.
  • Convening Local Organizations: They bring a wide range of organizations into a collaborative network that shares information, ideas and methods of data collections and analysis.
  • Expanding Services: Intermediaries can enlist support from large public and private funders more efficiently than can individual, often smaller provider agencies working in isolation. These resources in turn make possible a significantly greater scale of service in two ways. They can help expand the activities of existing providers and draw new organizations into the field.
  • Increasing program quality: As they raise and re-grant dollars from large funders, intermediaries can develop and promote consistent quality assurance and accountability mechanisms among the after-school providers who receive these funds.
  • Strengthening and supporting the after-school workforce: Intermediaries can organize centralized training and professional-development opportunities for after-school workers, managers, and volunteers across the full range of local provider agencies.
  • Research and evaluation: Intermediaries are able to secure large grants to perform evaluation at the system-level. Their third-party status allows for independence in managing data-collection and reporting on outcomes.
  • Promoting sustainability: The precariousness of many after-school funding streams calls for concerted attention not only to fundraising, but to developing policies and systems that ensure a steadier, more reliable, and sustainable stream of resources to the field. This is an area in which intermediaries excel.

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary: Speaking in One Voice

10 Nov 2008, Forum for Youth Investment

This policy commentary by the Forum for Youth Investment highlights the work of TASC and its partners in the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) to develop and adopt common youth-, program- and system-level measures that are easy and cost-effective for local systems to implement.

Shaping the Future of After-School

25 Sep 2007, Collaborative for Building After-School Systems

The Collaborative (CBASS) published this report to document the critical role intermediaries play in the development of after-school systems in their cities. This report shows how intermediaries have helped increase the quality, sustainability, and availability of after-school and offers a vision for public policy change to support the continued growth of after-school.

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