Youth FAQ

Teenage Girls Sitting Outside Playing With Mobile Phone

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is DREAMR?

A:  The DREAMR Project is a study measuring the effectiveness of several program components designed to help current and former foster youth to develop healthy, positive relationships with adults and prevent pregnancy.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the project?

A:   Current or former foster youth between the ages of 12 and 20 can participate in the DREAMR Project.

Q: Will youth who receive a phone (as part of the treatment group) be able to contact anyone via the phone, or will there be restrictions placed on it?

A:  While the phone is intended to be used by the youth preferably to call his/her DFS worker and other DREAMR service providers (such as their mentor, their Olive Crest worker, etc.), the phone’s text and calling capabilities will be limited. Text messages/phone calls will not be monitored or reviewed by DFS. The phone does not provide access to the Internet.

Q: Are pregnant/parenting youth randomized into the treatment and control groups?

A: No, pregnant/parenting youth will not be randomized.  Instead, these youth will be automatically assigned into the treatment group and will receive DREAMR services.

Q: Will youth continue to remain eligible for DREAMR services even if they are moved to another placement throughout the duration of their year-long involvement?

A: Yes, the youth will remain enrolled in the DREAMR study for the entire year if they choose to do so, regardless of any relocation or changes regarding  their case with DFS (as long as they continue to live in Clark County)

Q: How long is the “Be Proud Be Responsible” class offered by the Southern Nevada Health District?

A: The class is two hours a day for three consecutive days for both youth and caregivers.  Caregivers will also attend class for one additional hour in which they will learn some tips and techniques for discussing issues surrounding reproductive health with their youth.

Q: What are the benefits of participating?

A: While there may not be any direct benefits to you for participating, we hope to learn what the best approach is to help foster youth avoid pregnancy or subsequent pregnancies until they are adults and emotionally and financially ready to be parents.  We also hope to learn what works in helping foster youth learn to develop healthy and positive relationships with adults.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes, youth who are randomized into the treatment group and who complete the entire year-long study will receive the phone as compensation for their participation.  Should the youth choose to end his/her involvement after 31 days but before the year is complete, he/she will be required to return the phone but will receive a gift card for his/her participation.  The amount of the gift card is dependent on the amount of time spent involved with the study and is broken down as follows: For an enrollment period of 31 days-183 days: $25, for 184 days-270 days: $50, and for 271-364 days: $75.00.  Youth randomized into the control group will not receive a phone but will receive a $25 gift card at the end of each interview (after 30 days, 6 months, and one year).

Q: If I am enrolled in the treatment group, how will my mentor be chosen?

A: The mentor component is only available to those youths that are  under the age of eighteen and for those youths that are NOT about to become a parent or are already parenting. Eligible youth will be matched with a mentor from Big Brothers Big Sisters using their youth-empowerment model.  Every effort will be made to match youth to mentors who share similar interests and hobbies.

Q: For how long will I have my mentor?

A: Eligible youth will have a mentor for at least one year, or the time you are enrolled in the study.  You and your mentor may choose to continue your relationship beyond the year, but your satisfaction with the mentoring relationship will not be measured by UNLV beyond the time you are involved in the study.

Q: How will the effectiveness of DREAMR be evaluated?

A: Researchers from UNLV will interview youth assigned to both the treatment and control groups three times over the course of their year-long involvement in the program.  These surveys will be administered within 30 days of the youth’s enrollment, six months after enrollment, and twelve months after enrollment.  Youth assigned to the treatment group will also receive short weekly and monthly surveys on their smart phone.  The results of these surveys will be used to compare outcomes between the two groups and to determine the effectiveness of the program.

Q: What types of questions will I be asked in the surveys?

A: Many of the questions UNLV researchers will ask are basic, but some are personal.  Researchers will also ask if you feel the services are beneficial.  You do not have to answer any question that you don’t want to.

Q: Why should I participate if I am randomized into the control group?

A: By participating, you will be helping researchers determine what approach is best in helping foster youth and former foster youth to develop healthy and positive relationships with adults as well as to delay pregnancy until they are emotionally and financially ready to care for a child.  As an incentive for your participation, you will also receive a $25 gift card for each survey administration cycle that you complete with UNLV researchers.

Q: How will my information be kept confidential?

A: Your name will not appear on any of the surveys that you complete.  Each youth will be assigned a code number and only that number will appear on the surveys.  This number will also appear on your assent/consent form but the surveys and the assent/consent forms will not be kept in the same file.  All records will be stored in a locked facility at UNLV for three years after the completion of the study.  Researchers will not tell other foster youth what you say on your surveys.  There are some exceptions to this pledge of confidentiality.  Researchers will reveal to the proper authorities any information that you give to us that leads us to believe that you are currently in danger,  you are in a harmful or abusive situation, or you are causing harm to another (e.g., your child).

Q: Who will receive parenting classes?

A: Youth who are currently pregnant/ impending fathers or who are currently parenting will be enrolled in parenting classes coordinated by both the Parenting Project and Olive Crest.  These youth will spend time in interactive classes learning about baby care and parenting techniques.  In addition, a worker from Olive Crest will visit these youth in the home to work with them individually.