From Their Lips to Your Ears: Using Focus Groups to Inform Campus Support Program Design

When designing programs for foster youth, we often look to the “experts” for guidance, but often those with the most expertise are foster youth themselves. Soliciting feedback through focus groups can be a valuable exercise both to inform new program planning and to refine existing services. But the value of the information that comes out of a focus group is dependent on the thought and planning that goes into it. Recruiting a diverse group of participants, formulating the right questions, creating an open and supportive space and choosing the best facilitator are all essential for an effective focus group. This web seminar featured RTI International who provided tips and tools for conducting effective focus groups with foster youth. The materials presented focus on how to design and facilitate focus groups with foster youth students on college campuses that can be used to refine service delivery models to be most responsive to student needs.

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Appendix A – Student Focus Group Protocol
Appendix B – Sample Focus Group Flyer
Appendix C – Lines of Inquiry
Appendix D – Focus Group Reporting Template
Appendix E – Sample e-mail invitation and consent form
Focus Group Powerpoint Slides
Focus Group Tips and Tools
Focus Group webinar recording