Assessing Youth Voice

Want to assess the level of youth voice at your organization or in your committee? We’ve created the Y-VAL and are developing the Y-VOC for that specific purpose. Click below to go straight to the assessment you’re interested in.

Assessment of Youth / Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL)

Do you work for a youth- or young adult-serving agency? Would you like to know how well your agency is doing at incorporating youth and young adult voice in agency-level practices and decision making? You want authentic youth engagement in your organization, and we want to help you get there.

Youth MOVE National collaborated with researchers at Pathways RTC (Portland State University) to develop the Assessment of Youth/Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL). The Y-VAL is a validated tool intended to measure support for the meaningful participation of youth and young adults in advising and decision making at the agency level. The assessment was co-developed with youth and young adults and identifies the following themes required for youth-driven best practices at the agency level.


Eight Critical Themes

  1. Overall vision and commitment: Are overall policies and procedures in place to support meaningful youth engagement?
  2. Collaborative approach: Are young people treated as valued partners in the decision making process?
  3. Empowered representatives: Are young people supported in a way that will maximize their potential?
  4. Commitment to facilitation and support of youth participation: Is the organization investing resources to support youth voice?
  5. Workforce development and readiness to ensure meaningful participation: Are staff trained to work collaboratively with youth and young adults?
  6. Participation in developing programming and program policies: Is there evidence young people are having an impact on how programs and services work?
  7. Participation in evaluation and ensuring program quality: Are young people engaged in how well the agency is doing its work?
  8. Leading initiatives and projects: Does the agency support youth and young adults to take the lead on projects they design?

To learn more about the themes, check out this overview here.

A recorded webinar highlighting the Y-VAL process purpose is available here, and a PDF of the presentation can be found here.


How does the Y-VAL tool work?

The assessment is intended to be relevant to a variety of agencies that serve youth and young adults. Once the tool is accessed, it is distributed to key personnel, partners, and recipients of the agency being assessed. The survey results are aggregated anonymously and help identify the agency’s strengths and needs of integrating youth voice at the agency level.

The tool can be combined with our specialized consulting packages which will support your agency to identify strategies for moving towards successful and sustainable youth engagement:

Data Collection and Detailed Reporting: Let us guide you through the data collection and analysis process. We will help you prepare for implementation and data collection. Our team will then coordinate and conduct data analysis to create a report detailing where your organization stands on supporting authentic youth engagement.. The report will include key recommendations, technical assistance resources, and next steps based on identified areas of need and growth.

Tailored Solutions: We are available to further support your organization with advanced technical assistance and coaching based on the results of the Y-VAL. With your organization in mind, we’ll work together to match you to a solution and customize the next steps and training plan to your identified growth areas. And we’ll meet virtually, over the phone, or onsite.

Ready to get started with Y-VAL?

Are you interested in utilizing the Y-VAL in your agency? Click below to submit this brief form to get started. Select “Y-VAL” as a priority area. Once we’ve received your request, we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call to learn more about your agency needs.

Assessment of Youth/Young Adult Voice on Committees and Councils (Y-VOC)

Are you part of a local, regional, state, or national-level advisory or governance committee/council that includes young people as members? Or do you work with a committee or council like this?

IF SO, here is an opportunity to support the work of Youth MOVE National and Pathways RTC — AND to have a 1-in-50 chance of winning a $100 gift card!

Researchers at Pathways RTC (Portland State University) are collaborating with Youth MOVE National in developing the Assessment of Youth/Young Adult Voice on Committees and Councils (Y-VOC). The Y-VOC is intended to measure support for the participation of youth and young adults as full and active members of advisory/governance committees and councils.

We are currently undertaking a study to determine whether the Y-VOC is an accurate assessment tool for committees and councils to use if they wish to measure their support for youth and young adult voice.

To do this, we are widely recruiting committees and councils with at least 15 members. A “point person” on the committee/council will send us a list of members’ email addresses. Each member will then receive an email from us, with a link to complete an online survey that takes 10-15 minutes.

Participants who complete the survey can enter a drawing with a 1-in-50 chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

If 12 or more members of your committee/council complete the survey, you can elect to receive a report that will show your scores on the assessment.

To participate, simply have a “point person” for your council or committee send an email to Cassie Diaz: [email protected]. You will receive further instructions in return.


Additional Resources

Y-VAL Poster Presentation (presented at the USF Conference in Tampa, March 2019).

Enhance Authentic and Meaningful Youth Engagement: Using the Y-VAL Webinar – webinar delivered for RAISE.