Conducting a Youth Count: A Toolkit
This toolkit provides a step-by-step roadmap to conduct a youth count using the VoYC methodology implemented in collaboration with 22 urban, suburban and rural VoYC partner communities throughout the summer of 2016. It reflects the VoYC approach to engaging and empowering youth and a broad array of community stakeholders for a better youth count.
The toolkit, updated in 2018, is organized into five phases with guidance and links to helpful tools for each phase. Within the guidance, you will find details about the steps for planning and executing a youth count along with a description of our lessons learned while we were in the field. The tools include the worksheets, annotated agendas, training and focus groups materials and protocols, and other resources needed to complete each step within the phase.
You can download the entire toolkit here or explore it by phase below.
Phase 1: GET STARTED
Phase One includes the foundational steps to conducting a successful youth count. The guidance takes you through the formation of a Leadership Team and creation of a plan from start to finish for your youth count.
Phase 2: PLAN AND HOLD FOCUS GROUPS
Phase Two is the primary information-gathering phase for the youth count. During the focus groups, you will learn from youth, and the providers who work with them, about the hot spot locations where homeless and unstably housed youth spend time. The primary goal of the focus groups is to identify the hot spots where teams will go during the Street Count, but the focus groups also generate lists of provider and community locations for the Organizational Count and Come and Be Counted Locations.
Phase 3: PREPARE FOR THE YOUTH COUNT
Phase Three is the final youth count preparation stage. During this phase, you will finalize the strategy and logistics , recruit the youth and volunteers , and conduct the trainings for the youth count.
Phase 4: CONDUCT THE YOUTH COUNT
Phase Four focuses on the period of time selected to conduct the youth count. It includes guidance for conducting the Street Count, and overseeing the Organizational Count and Come and Be Counted Locations.
Phase 5: USE THE DATA
Phase Five focuses on using the data you collected during the youth count. This phase includes guidance on the cleaning and analysis of the data as well as ideas about how to use and share the results to drive change in your community.