The purpose of the Idaho Healthy Youth Survey is to gather current information on Idaho youth to promote capacity to prevent risk factors for behavioral health issues. The Idaho Healthy Youth survey for 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students was modeled after other states' surveys and refined by the Idaho State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission, and multiple community organizations that work with youth in each of the seven public health districts in Idaho.
The Office of Drug Policy (ODP) subscribes to the Strategic Prevention Framework, a step-by-step model demonstrating how prevention efforts should be implemented. All subsequent steps are informed by assessment, which is the purpose of the Idaho Healthy Youth Survey. After community organizations have completed an assessment of their local conditions, they then determine their capacity to implement prevention, plan prevention initiatives based on the data they gathered, implement programs and strategies, and then evaluate their programs and strategies to ensure effectiveness and continuous quality improvement.
Currently, the Idaho Health Youth Survey is the only standardized tool available to communities to identify perceptions, opinions, attitudes, and behaviors among youth at the local level. Although state-wide data sources are available for some behavioral health items, in order for local communities, schools, and non-profits to obtain grant funds from state or federal sources, those organizations need to justify targeted actions in their reach.
ODP administers multiple grant opportunities to local communities including the Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant and the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. Grant directors ask communities to compile these data for their applications, but without standardized methods at the state-level, the community is left with limited capacity to fulfill this need. We see the importance of giving communities the tools they need to do their jobs well with limited resources. We look forward to partnering with Idaho schools to collect invaluable data reflecting the Idaho student experience, thus providing quality data for local community organizations, schools, and non-profits to gain grant funds and ensure a bright future for Idaho youth.
Stephanie Pustejovsky, Senior Research Analyst
The timeline for the Idaho Healthy Youth Survey is as follows: