Measuring youth connections: A component of relational permanence for foster youth

Annette Semanchin Jones, Traci L LaLiberte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This article presents the development and preliminary validation of the Youth Connections Scale, a measure of youth connectedness as a component of relational permanence for youth in out-of-home placement. The instrument measures different domains of youth's connectedness, including the number and strength of connections to caring adults and the types of support perceived by youth. Results of a pilot validation study of the instrument, with a sample of 53 adolescents in out-of-home care, indicate good concurrent validity and high test-retest reliability. Child welfare and youth-serving agencies can use this instrument in their efforts to strengthen and measure the connectedness and relational permanence of youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-517
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare would like to acknowledge the following public and private child welfare agencies and the participating social workers and youth in these organizations for their participation in the pilot validation of the Youth Connections Scale: Adolescent and Family Growth Center; Ampersand Families; Anu Family Services; Dakota County Social Services; Family Alternatives; Northwood Children's Services, Duluth, Minnesota; People Places, Inc.; Scott County Human Services; and Volunteers of America Family Treatment Programs. We would also like to thank the Family Foster Treatment Association (FFTA) for their help and support in outreach and recruitment efforts during the pilot study. These training materials have been made possible, in part, by a Title IV-E Training Project grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services ( GRK%29646 ).


  • Development of a measuring instrument
  • Out-of-home care
  • Permanency
  • Relational permanence
  • Youth connections


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