The Experience Project: Centering the voices of youth with lived and living experience of substance use to improve evidence-informed care

The Experience Project aims to inform Foundry’s substance use integrated service model for youth and young adults by asking youth and peer support workers what is important to them. This project utilizes an innovative youth engagement framework co-developed with youth for youth, to ensure that the voices of youth with lived experience are centered throughout the project. The overall intention of the project is to develop new content for Foundry’s youth peer support curriculum and improve substance use services for youth and young adults.

This presentation will explore the co-development of a youth engagement framework for Foundry’s research activities, our process for acquiring and responding to feedback from youth, as well as our youth engagement evaluation methods and findings. It will conclude by discussing lessons learned and the impact of empowering young people to be leaders in research and a central voice in informing their health services.

Presenters and slide deck

Anurada Amarasekera, Youth Research Assistant, Foundry

Anurada Amarasekera is a Youth Research Assistant at Foundry, located in British Columbia. She is currently involved in the Experience Project, which aims to improve substance use services for youth and young adults. Her research interests are at the intersections of health and psychology, and she is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University.

Haley Turnbull, Evaluation Specialist, Foundry

Haley is the Evaluation Specialist at Foundry, located in British Columbia. Her background includes a mix of clinical and evaluation experience, with a focus on the evaluation of co-created and youth-led initiatives. Her current interests focus on the promotion and evaluation of meaningful community engagement in the evaluation process.

Andrea Vukobrat, Project Support Coordinator, Foundry

Roxane Turuba

Slides

Roxanne Turuba- Foundry-The Experience Project Tipsheet.pdf

Key Learnings

  • The Experience Project aims to understand youth experiences with substance use services and improve their care experiences by creating youth-informed substance use curricula for peer support workers and other service providers.
  • The project utilizes an innovative youth engagement framework co-developed with youth for youth, to ensure that the voices of youth with lived experience are centered throughout the project.
  • Meeting youth where they are at means being flexible, offering sufficient support and providing youth with safe spaces to provide input and feedback.

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