National Human Services Assembly

National Collaboration for Youth

Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential

Building A Brighter Future

Our mission is to provide a united voice as advocates for youth to build the well-being of young people in America, and to help young people reach their full potential.

National Collaboration for Youth

The National Collaboration for Youth (NCY), a 40-year old affinity group, is a coalition of the National Assembly member organizations that have a significant interest in youth development. Members of NCY include more than 50 national, non-profit, youth development organizations.

Its mission is to provide a united voice as advocates for youth to improve the conditions of young people in America, and to help young people reach their full potential.

Collectively, the member organizations of the National Collaboration for Youth:

  • Serve more than 40 million young people
  • Employ over 100,000 paid staff
  • Utilize more than six million volunteers
  • Have a physical presence in virtually every community in America

Why It Exists

NCY was formed by a handful of national executives who believed that their organizations could accomplish more collectively than individually to advance a positive developmental approach to child and youth development; prevent youth from having negative experiences by offering well-founded positive experiences; and ensure justice and fair treatment for youth involved in the justice and child welfare systems. NCY still exists substantially for these purposes today.

What It Does

NCY functions in the areas of Policy, Practice, and Research, all in the realm of positive youth development, an approach to policy and programs that is at this point very well researched by some of the most respected academics and scientists and very well accepted among many policymakers and even more widely among service providers. Youth are defined by their assets and potential not by their challenges.


The NCY Washington Group, public policy leaders of member organizations, coordinates policy development and action to advance positive youth development.


The NCY Program Group, top youth development professionals at member organizations, develops and pursues initiatives that advance the practice of positive youth development.


The Research Group fuels the field with evidence-based approaches.


For questions about this site or more information on the National Collaboration for Youth contact

  • Serve more than 40 million young people annually
  • Employ over 100,000 staff
  • Utilize more than 6 million volunteers
  • Have a physical presence in virtually every community in America

NCY Initiatives & Programs

The National Collaboration for Youth has a variety of programs and initiatives that it supports.

Learn More
Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Safe At Home and Out of Youth Prisons

“Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Safe at Home and Out of Youth Prisons,” is a publication of the National Collaboration for Youth, produced with significant input and work from National Assembly and NCY member, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.  The report should serve as a handbook for juvenile justice administrators, legislators, judges, the non-profit community and […]

National Assembly and Youth Today Renew Partnership

The National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) and the national publication Youth Today have announced the renewal of a partnership that has served both organizations since 2014. Youth Today is the only independent, national media outlet that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field to help better the future of youth. The partnership, through […]

New Funds for Work: Connecting Systems for Justice-Involved Youth

Two National Assembly members, the National Youth Employment Coalition and Youth Advocate Programs, recently published a new report, “New Funds for Work:  Connecting Systems for Justice-Involved Young People.” The report stems from a convening of juvenile justice and workforce administrators from around the country and includes their recommendations for how to cultivate cross-system collaboration to better serve justice-involved youth, […]

Inspiring Adults 50+ to Mentor Youth

If you missed the Movies and Mentors webinar last week, co-hosted by NHSA and, you can still watch or listen to the webinar recording online. We enjoyed sharing information about Gen2Gen’s mission to inspire people 50+ to help children and youth thrive, and we hope you are excited about the initiative and are motivated to join […]

Expert Help Tapping the Talents of People Over 50

The Gen2Gen Learning Hub from is the new one-stop shop to help your organization engage adults 50+ to help young people thrive. The Learning Hub can help you: Assess how ready you are to navigate our more-old-than-young world Develop effective outreach messages, methods and materials Design compelling roles for older volunteers And much more! Check […]

Interested in Advocacy?

Are you a public policy professional in or around the DC area? Learn more about the National Assembly's public policy efforts, the Washington Policy Council, and getting involved in advocacy for the human service sector.

Peer Learning

Are you a staff member of an organization that is a member of the National Assembly? If so, check out our Peer Learning Councils.