Project Abstract

Denver Collaborative Partnership is taking an upstream preventative approach to serving youth who run away and their families. Rapid Response for Runaway Youth is an intervention designed to serve runaway youth and their families by dispatching a network of rapid responders to meet families where they are, including at home, within
72 hours of the report of a runaway incident and then connecting them to services (e.g., Multi-Systemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy) aimed at preventing child welfare or juvenile justice involvement and the need for out-of-home care. 

The Lab conducted a rigorous evaluation of the project. Despite a true cross-system partnership, data-based identification of barriers to implementation, and a comprehensive corrective action plan, the project failed to meet the benchmarks or success measures during its first year and was terminated 15 months after launch. The report focuses on lessons learned for future upstream prevention efforts and Pay for Success financing. 

The Denver Runaways project was funded by Pay for Success.


Colorado Department of Human Services

Denver Police Department

Governor’s Office of Information Technology

Research Partners: 

Denver Collaborative Partnership


Rapid Response and Evidence-Based Services for Runaway Youth in Denver

Lessons Learned from a Pay for Success Financed Project

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