Providing at-risk girls and their parents tools and education to foster healthier relationships and home environnments


PACE Center for Girls


United States of America

Thematic area

Health and Social protection


Since 2017


The context

In 1980, girls made up 20% of the national juvenile population; today, this number has climbed to 29%. Girls continue to be far more likely than boys to be arrested for non-serious offenses and status offenses (truancy, running away, underage drinking), which are often linked to family dysfunction and a lack of parental engagement. Girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system is correlated to trauma, physical and sexual violence, substance abuse, and academic failure, and very few evidence-based programs exist for this very high-risk population.


The project

The project aims to improve the social, emotional and academic achievement of girls at risk of school failure and juvenile delinquency by leveraging recent research to test a new parental engagement model. This model aims to foster healthier relationships between PACE girls and their families and healthier home environments. Specifically, the project involves the development, testing and evaluation of new parental engagement program that covers PACE’s academic and therapeutic programs as well as family outreach efforts.


The support

Fondation CHANEL is partnering with PACE to research, develop and pilot the parental engagement program, to scale it up throughout their 19 sites in Florida, and to enhance their local and national advocacy work on behalf of high-risk adolescent girls.

The results

  • Girls improve their school attendance and academic performance
  • Girls improve their school and social-emotional behaviors
  • Families build social support networks
  • Girls improve their family relationships, as measured by girl/caregiver feedback
  • Create a body of new knowledge on effective strategies for high-risk adolescent girls to inform the youth development sector.


The partner

PACE Center for Girls, Inc., is a holistic gender-responsive model for at-risk girls. Founded in 1985, PACE has served more than 40,000 girls between the ages of 11 and 18 years in 20 nonresidential locations across the state of Florida.

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