Youth Engagement Toolkit

Youth engagement is a strategy to value and include the insights of youth in service planning and delivery. Often youth and their families know best what they need and how to make services work for them.

If you would like more information about youth engagement or are interested in taking steps to engaging youth at your own agency, please email

What is YE Button

The Power of Youth Engagement
This fact sheet defines youth engagement and outlines reasons why agencies might incorporate youth voice and youth engagement into their programs.

Ladder of Youth Engagement
This graphic can help your agency assess where it stands on current youth engagement levels and help determine future organizational goals.

Research Supporting Youth Engagement

This document shares some of the leading research and practice-based evidence that supports the value of youth engagement.

Road map to YE

Power of Youth Engagement Presentation ­
Based on a TNOYS Youth Engagement workshop, this presentation outlines basic steps for getting started with youth engagement.

Organizational Assessments/Surveys
Determine your agency’s readiness and progress with these assessment tools for organizational staff, youth, and caregiver participants. For more information on how to best use these tools, read more on Assessing Readiness and Progress.

Youth Engagement Readiness Worksheet
This document, developed by the Free Child Institute, can help adults and youth within an organization assess their readiness to engage.

Best Practices for Working With Youth
This resource offers practical strategies for working with youth, including tips on building rapport and maintaining ongoing partnerships.

Simple Solutions for Youth Engagement
Learn how to foster three elements for effective youth engagement: establishing a youth-friendly environment, building a sense of belonging, and nurturing a sense of self-efficacy.

Youth Voice in Court

This video created by TNOYS is intended to help legal professionals better understand how to give youth a voice in the child welfare system. It is also accompanied by additional related resources to will help ensure youth have a say in legal decisions that impact them.

YE in Action

Harris Transition Coalition Overview
This document provides an overview of the Harris Transition Coalition, an initiative that brings together eight Houston-area agencies engaging transition-age youth. The Coalition is convened by TNOYS and supported by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

Lessons from the Field: Youth Engagement Reminders

Blog: “Engaging & Empowering Youth – My Success Story”
This blog features the perspective of Aldo Charles, Youth Training Specialist at Disability Rights Texas, who discusses his own experiences with youth engagement.

Blog: “Harris County Meets the ‘TIP’ Model”
This blog post provides an overview of the Transition to Independence Process, or TIP.

TNOYS YouTube Video Series
This series features the voices and perspectives of youth speaking to their own experiences with services, mentors, stigma, youth voice, and more.