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Children and Youth Services Review

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Community-based social services -- United States -- -- Evaluation, Youth -- Mental health -- Decision making, Mental health policy -- Patient participation


There is a range of stakeholder benefits when youth- and young adult-serving agencies include service recipient “voice” in advising and decision making regarding agency policies and programming. Yet many agency stakeholders lack awareness of strategic best practices to ensure the consistent and meaningful participation of young people in decision-making processes, and few tools exist to evaluate agency efforts. This paper describes the development and validation of the Youth/Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL), an assessment of the extent to which agencies have implemented best practices for supporting meaningful participation. The Y-VAL is intended for research purposes, as well as to provide agencies with direct guidance about strengths and challenges regarding their efforts to promote youth/young adult voice.


© 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Children & Youth Services Review. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 94, 2018, Pages 598-605.



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