Measurements YAPS Hero

Youth and Program Strengths Survey

The Youth and Program Strengths Survey measures how young people in school or community-based out-of-school time programs experience their time in the program.

Measuring Young People’s Experiences in Your Out-of-School-Time Program

The Youth and Program Strengths Survey (YAPS) measures how young people participating in out-of-school time programs experience their time in the programs. It introduces youth perspectives into the evaluation process by focusing on the young people’s internal strengths and external supports. It helps program leaders understand how to shape programs that can protect young people from risk while promoting resilience and thriving. The survey is based on decades of research on Developmental Assets. Organizations, coalitions, and programs are using it to gain a better understanding of young people’s lives through their strengths, support, and resources.

Integrating Youth Perspectives into Your Work

How are young people experiencing school- or community-based out-of-school time (OST) programs? We don’t have to guess. Youth and Program Strengths Survey (YAPS) is a survey for young people in grades 4-12. It is designed to measure the features and opportunities that are part of high-quality programs. Programs are using the survey to understand more about what young people are experiencing at home, in their communities, and in programs. Using the survey is helping program leaders:

  • Discover the strengths and supports that young people have
  • Listen to the perspectives of young people
  • See their work in the context of young people’s own strengths as well as the supports they have (or don’t have) in their programs, families, schools, organizations, and communities
  • Create a roadmap to guide in proactive and focused planning to increase positive outcomes
  • Demonstrate program success to funders

Measuring Program Quality

By asking young people to share their experiences in OST programs, we get to the heart of what matters most to them — in their programs, homes, and communities. The YAPS measures the following quality factors in programs:

  • Physical and psychological safety
  • Appropriate structure
  • Developmental relationships
  • Opportunities to belong
  • Positive social norms
  • Support of efficacy and mattering
  • Opportunities for skill building
  • Integration of family, school, and community efforts
  • How often and how long young people attend programs

The Youth and Program Strengths Survey also includes the full Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), which provides data and youth viewpoints on the nature of their schools, programs, peers, communities, families by looking at internal and external assets.

Knowledge Is Power

With the results of the Youth and Program Strengths Survey, programs around the country are able to deepen their relationships with the young people they serve and create lasting, effective change. The YAPS Survey provides data on key features of high-quality programs and measures social-emotional skills and noncognitive factors. It also serves as a pre- and post-assessment to measure change and impact over time. The aggregated report provides breakdowns by gender, grade, race/ethnicity, and program dosage to help program leaders understand their programs’ progress and potential shortcomings.

Youth and Program Strengths Survey Details

This survey is available online (with a paper option) and is designed for young people in grades 4-12. The minimum number of youth needed for the report is 30. It includes 98 Likert scale questions and takes 20 minutes to complete.

It includes the following elements:

  • Access to the online survey
  • Thorough user guide for planning survey administration
  • In-depth site reports to guide data utilization
  • Survey administration support

The following options are also available:

  • Sub-reports based on a specific cohort of youth
  • Raw data at the individualized level
  • Technical assistance, consulting, workshops, or keynotes

Recommended Users

Youth programs, schools, communities and youth-serving organizations have all benefited from the Youth and Program Strengths Survey.


Site report – $300

  • Includes up to 100 surveys

Each additional survey – $2.50

  • Beyond the included 100 surveys

Get Started

To get started with one of our surveys, or to consult with our staff about which survey is right for you, fill out this form.