Building on the success of previous McCreary projects which have taught research skills and supported experiential youth (including those with care experience), we propose to establish a Youth Research Academy which will train one cohort of youth in and from government care each year. Participants will be trained to design, deliver, analyze and disseminate research projects of interest to youth with care experience and service providers. The Academy will also offer opportunities for additional youth to engage in more condensed research training projects.
At least one research project conducted each year will be in partnership with the Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks (FBCYICN). FBCYICN had already identified the research projects it would like Academy participants to complete in Years 1 and 2. Once the first cohort of Academy participants have been trained, the Academy will take on additional research and evaluation projects for other agencies.
Project goals include increasing youth led/driven research; training youth in and from care in community based research and dissemination; supporting youth and partner agencies to consider advocacy opportunities identified within the research; assisting participants to develop marketable skills; offering community agencies access to trained youth researchers who can conduct research projects of interest to those agencies; and offering evidence of the success of this model of engaging and supporting vulnerable youth.