Too often, youth voices are only solicited as research participants, rather than being fully included as research co-designers. Welcoming young people as co-designers leads to incredible results; with thoughtful consideration, researchers can successfully engage young people and contribute to needed system changes.
Four years ago, FosterClub received a request for young leaders to participate in a research study and shared the request with the current class of All-Star interns. All-Stars reviewed the opportunity and came back with questions on the study design, purpose and implications of the research project. FosterClub shared these questions with the researcher, Dr. Katie Winters, who welcomed the feedback and input. Together, FosterClub and Dr. Winters developed a plan for young people to serve as study advisors. Over the next two years, study advisors provided guidance to Dr. Winters on the redesign of her research study, contributing to a robust study and an outline for future consultation with young people in research and beyond.
With review and support from study advisors, Dr. Winters and FosterClub developed a tool for other researchers and stakeholders to consider when consulting with young people. This tool includes:
1. Benefits of Youth-Informed Research
2. Key Takeaways for Meaningful and Successful Engagement of Young Leaders
3. Call to Action for Researchers and Stakeholders