Web survey of foster youth advisory boards in the United States

Judy Havlicek, Ching Hsuan Lin, Fabiola Villalpando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study administered a web survey of foster youth advisory boards (YAB) in the United States. The survey was emailed to state or private agency representatives in 50 states and the District of Columbia. A total of 49 valid surveys were completed for an overall response rate of 96%. Respondents in 47 states (96%) reported having a foster youth advisory board. There was variation in the type of boards that operated. Just under half reported relying on a single source of funding (47%). The most common features of a YAB were: 1) foster youth issues and concerns, 2) advising a state agency director, 3) youth advocacy, and 4) a youth adult partnership model of decision-making. Opportunities to discuss foster youth issues and concerns and make youth-informed policy and practice decisions were rated by respondents as representing the most beneficial aspects of facilitating a YAB. Recruitment of members and high member turnover were rated as the most challenging aspects of YAB facilitation. Study findings are discussed in the context of participatory practices in child welfare systems and the features of youth advisory boards that facilitate youth voice and representation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Aging out foster youth
  • Foster youth advisory boards
  • Foster youth advocacy
  • Youth participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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