The Youth Connections Scale (YCS) was developed in order to fill a need in child welfare: To evaluate and measure the increased efforts of agencies to improve the relational permanence of youth in foster care.
The YCS was developed by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) at the University of Minnesota in partnership with Anu Family Services. Experts in the field were consulted in development of this scale, including scholars, social workers, supervisors and administrators of public and private child welfare and youth serving agencies. Specifically, items such as the Support Indicators within the YCS were informed by existing practice tools, such as the Permanency Pact, which was developed by young people from FosterClub (2006); the BEST tool developed by Casey Family Services* and the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.
*Frey, L., Cushing, G., Freundlich, M., & Brenner, E. (2008). Achieving permanency for youth in foster care: Assessing and strengthening emotional security. Child and Family Social Work, 13(2), 218–226.
- To measure permanent, supportive connections for youth in foster care
- To guide case planning around strengthening youth connections to caring adults
- To track the efforts of workers as they identify, maintain, and help strengthen connections
- To evaluate practices and strategies that aim to increase the relational permanence of youth