This brief presents case study research on gender-related practices in afterschool programs.
In the five afterschool sites studied, staff primarily endorse a “gender blind” approach, providing the same activities to boys and girls. A majority of staff are female; one program had a balance of male and female staff. During site visits, staff commented on gendered cultural norms expressed by some parents. In some instances, gender influenced how staff interacted with children or considered themselves models for children.
A collaboration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and Office of Women’s Health, the Improving Programs, Policies, and Services to Promote Healthy Development in Middle Childhood in Afterschool Settings project examined how relevant federal investments support local efforts. The study focused on the extent to which evidence-based interventions are implemented in afterschool programs; promising practices for administering, improving, and sustaining these interventions; and how programs can better address the needs of boys and girls.