The following resources provide results and methods for evaluating programs serving youth, including those currently or formerly in foster care. These resources also provide information on outcomes for youth served by programs as well as recommendations for program improvement. Because engaging and involving youth is integral to the program evaluation process, evaluation resources also include tools for evaluating youth participation in these programs.
Being Useful: Achieving Indigenous Youth Involvement in a Community-Based Participatory Research Project in Alaska
Ford, Rasmus, & Allen (2012)
University of Alaska Fairbanks, International Journal of Circumpolar Health
Examines the effectiveness of youth-guided, community-based participatory research in the formation of health promotion and prevention development within the context of an indigenous Alaskan community. The article explains the pros and cons of this type of engagement and provides recommendations for future studies.
I Bloomed Here: A Guide for Conducting Photovoice With Youth Receiving Culturally and Community-Based Services (PDF - 358 KB)
Native American Youth and Family Center, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland State University Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures (2013)
Describes the impact of Photovoice, a program that gives cameras to youth to allow them to document and share what they are dealing with in their own lives through photography. The guide provides resources and information on how to implement Photovoice as a program in one’s own community.
Participatory Research and Community Youth Development: VOICES in Sarasota County, Florida
Alfonso, Bogues, Russo, & Brown (2012)
University of South Florida, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship
Describes the effectiveness of a community-based participatory research program for middle school-aged youth in Sarasota County, Florida. The article includes a description of the tools used to engage the youth by encouraging them to share what issues were important to them, thus making them an integral part of the research process.
YouthAction Community Leadership Course: Meeting the Needs of NYC Youth in Foster Care (PDF -137 KB)
Citizens' Committee for Children of New York (2012)
Describes the effectiveness of the Citizens’ Committee for Children’s Youth Action Committee Leadership Course, an advocacy training program for high school students in New York City. The program includes a 10-week training course in which participants have the opportunity to research and analyze issues relevant to youth in NYC and develop policy and budgetary recommendations for those issues.
Evaluating Youth Development Programs: Progress and Promise
Roth & Brooks-Gunn (2015)
Applied Developmental Science, 3
Discusses the development of youth programs over the past two decades.
Howland Symposium: Putting Youth Participatory Evaluation Into Action: Lessons Learned and Innovations [Video]
University of Minnesota
Defines participatory evaluation as a collaborative process between people in evaluation, assessment, and analysis that fosters knowledge for action and change. The article suggests that evaluative research is an integral part of program participation and uses examples from successful participatory programs in Detroit, Michigan, to reinforce its proposal.
Monitoring and Evaluating
Outlines steps in ongoing evaluations of evidence-based programs, including information about various evaluation types and factors involved in choosing an evaluator.
Resources for Youth Participatory Evaluation
Act for Youth Center of Excellence
Provides a number of resources that assist in the facilitation and practice of youth participatory evaluation, including curricula and toolkits that provide step-by-step guidance on how to engage youth in research and evaluation, articles, and books.
Youth-Adult Partnerships in Evaluation: A Resource Guide for Translating Research Into Practice (PDF - 1,680 KB)
Zeldin, Bestul, &Powers (2012)
ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, Cornell University
Provides several tip sheets that guide professionals through the steps required to involve youth in evaluation efforts, including the fundamentals of evaluation research and beneficial organizational culture.
Youth Participation Guide: Assessment, Planning, and Implementation
Advocates for Youth (2008)
Discusses methods to incorporate youth perspectives in health programming.