Freechild Youth Involvement Evaluation

The Freechild Institute Youth Involvement Toolkit

Examining what is done, why it’s done, who is involved, and why it matters is a vital step for youth involvement. It is also important to look at what has happened because of youth involvement.

Freechild designed the following Youth Involvement Evaluation after working with more than 100 organizations across the United States and around the world. We have found these ten areas to be the most important to consider when evaluating youth involvement: feedback, measurements, motives, numbers, breadth, formality, impacts, reporting, and sharing.

We invite you to use this tool to evaluate youth involvement in your organization! Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Freechild Youth Involvement Evaluation

  1. FEEDBACK: How does your program, organization, or community provide for formal and informal feedback from youth on youth involvement?
  2. MEASUREMENTS: Are the events, activities, and numbers of youth measured?
  3. MOTIVES: Are the levels, motivations, and impacts of youth and adults involved monitored and reported?
  4. NUMBERS: Are the quantitative effects of youth involvement measured, monitored, and reported? 
  • grades
  • attendance records
  • dropout rates
  • number of youth participants in a given activity
  • other numerical information
  1. Are the numerical effects of youth involvement monitored and reported?
  2. BREADTH: Are youth other than those directly involved in an opportunity involved in the assessment as independent evaluators?
  3. FORMALITY: Are there formal evaluations of youth involvement completed by youth and adults?
  4. IMPACTS: Are the impacts of youth involvement recognized? Any or all of the following can be some of those impacts:
  • creation of new programs or activities
  • creation of an administrative support structure
  • training of adults made mandatory or more widespread 
  • teaching of peers or younger people
  • development or dissemination of materials
  • more youth voice in democracy, including nonprofits, government, communities, and elsewhere
  • youth educational desires assessed, documented
  • more, better involvement opportunities
  • more appropriate, youth-friendly policies, rules, or guidelines adapted
  • more accessible or youth-convenient services 
  • non-typical or new youth leaders identified
  • new social norms established among youth
  • new social norms established among youth and adults
  • youth involvement vehicle created
  • youth involvement groups created and sustained through policy, positions, or funds
  • youth voice workshops or information for parents offered 
  • new dedicated space(s) for youth
  • new or more policies, positions, and/or ongoing funding for youth programs, policies, services or activities
  • self-managed programs by youth, for youth
  • youth-managed programs by youth, for youth and adults
  • youth involvement in program planning
  • youth involvement in organizational evaluation
  • youth involvement in teaching and training
  • youth involvement throughout community decision-making
  • youth involvement in social justice advocacy
  • change in compositions of adult committees and boards to meaningfully involve youth
  • required youth in all decisions
  • creation or development of youth advisory structures 
  • change in consultative structures to include youth
  1. REPORTING: Is there a report including the effects of youth involvement developed?
  2. SHARING: Are the results of youth involvement collected and distributed to youth and adults in the program, across the organization, and throughout the entire community?

These are some of the most important questions we’ve identified. What youth involvement evaluation questions would you add? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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