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November 2021Vol. 22, No. 10YARH Grant Recipients' Experiences Engaging Youth in Interventions to Prevent Homelessness

The Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH) project, an initiative of the Children's Bureau and the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released a new brief that provides lessons learned from six YARH grant recipients about their experiences engaging child welfare-involved youth at risk of homelessness to participate in services and interventions geared toward preventing homelessness. 

As part of the evaluation, the YARH grant recipients were asked the following questions:

  • Which activities or processes of your intervention are critical for engaging youth?
  • How do you know if you have fully engaged youth?
  • How do you measure youth engagement?
  • How do you promote youth engagement in setting and attaining goals?
  • What youth engagement barriers have you had to overcome? How did you overcome those barriers?
  • What youth engagement strategies have worked best for your team?
From these questions, the evaluation team extracted the following lessons learned:
  • Engagement should be early and creative.  
  • Building rapport sets the stage for sustained engagement.  
  • Goal setting is an opportunity to encourage youth voice and youth choice.  
  • Use multiple methods to know if, when, and to what extent youth are engaged. 
To learn more about the YARH project and the lessons learned from this evaluation, read Youth Engagement: Lessons Learned.