Development and testing of an assessment of youth/young adult voice in agency-level advising and decision making

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