Being Youth-Driven Starts Here


Assessment of Youth/Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL)

Do you work for a youth- or young adult-serving agency? Would you like to know how well your agency is doing at incorporating youth and young adult voice in agency-level practices and decision making? You want to include authentic youth engagement in your organization, and we want to help you get there.

Youth MOVE National collaborated with researchers at Pathways RTC (Portland State University) to develop the Assessment of Youth/Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL). The Y-VAL is a validated tool intended to measure support for the meaningful participation of youth and young adults in advising and decision making at the agency level. The assessment was co-developed with youth and young adults and identifies the following themes required for youth-driven best practices at the agency level.


  1. Overall vision and commitment: Are overall policies and procedures in place to support meaningful youth engagement?
  2. Collaborative approach: Are young people treated as valued partners in the decision making process?
  3. Empowered representatives: Are young people supported in a way that will maximize their potential?
  4. Commitment to facilitation and support of youth and young adult participation: Is the organization investing resources to support youth voice?
  5. Workforce development and readiness to ensure meaningful participation: Are staff trained to work collaboratively with youth and young adults?
  6. Participation in developing programming and program policies: Is there evidence young people are having an impact on how programs and services work?
  7. Participation in evaluation and ensuring program quality: Are young people engaged in how well the agency is doing its work?
  8. Leading initiatives and projects: Does the agency support youth and young adults to take the lead on projects they design?

To learn more about the themes, check out this overview here.

A recorded webinar highlighting the Y-VAL process purpose is available here, and a PDF of the presentation can be found here.


How does the Y-VAL tool work?

The assessment is intended to be relevant to a variety of agencies that serve youth and young adults. Once the tool is accessed, it is distributed to key personnel, partners, and recipients of the agency being assessed. The survey results are aggregated anonymously and help identify the agency’s strengths and needs of integrating youth voice at the agency level.

The tool can be combined with our specialized consulting packages which will support your agency to identify strategies for moving towards successful and sustainable youth engagement:

Data Collection and Detailed Reporting: Let us guide you through the data collection and analysis process. We will help you prepare for implementation and data collection. Our team will then coordinate and conduct data analysis to create a report detailing where your organization stands on supporting authentic youth engagement.. The report will include key recommendations, technical assistance resources, and next steps based on identified areas of need and growth.

Tailored Solutions: We are available to further support your organization with advanced technical assistance and coaching based on the results of the Y-VAL. With your organization in mind, we’ll work together to match you to a solution and customize the next steps and training plan to your identified growth areas. And we’ll meet virtually, over the phone, or onsite.


How do I get started?

Are you interested in utilizing the Y-VAL in your agency? Submit this brief form to get started – (select “Y-VAL” as a priority area). Once we’ve received your request, we’ll be in touch to schedule a phone call to learn more about your agency needs.