Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey

2023 Youth Assessment Survey

The 2023 Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) was administered the fall of 2023. If you are a parent/guardian, school system, or community organization and have any questions or are looking for data, please see the helpful resources below.

“The Lakeshore Regional Entity is excited about the opportunity to continue to support this critical youth assessment which was established in 2005, specific to Ottawa County youth needs.  The YAS provides parents, schools, community leaders and service providers specific data around key areas for youth such as: substance use, mental health, and nutrition (just to name a few!).  With this data, Ottawa County can target strategies that support positive youth, family and community development.  It also provides the opportunity to secure additional funding through many avenues. The YAS reflects the efforts of many counties, the state of Michigan and across the United States to understand and target the needs of youth.”

– Stephanie VanDerKooi, COO and Amy Embury, Prevention Manager for Lakeshore Regional Entity

“We use the mental health statistics, like the YAS, to demonstrate need whenever we present to groups about our work.”

– Extended Grace/Momentum Center

“The Ottawa County Youth Assessment survey is critical to our work. This data helps us understand the challenges facing our youth and how we need to adapt our programs to fully support families in our community. The YAS is critical as we apply for funding, make program decisions and update programs. Without this data, our ability to bring in funds for afterschool and other programs would be significantly diminished.”

– Arbor Circle

“CMH uses the YAS data in thinking through program services and grant applications. The use of data in these applications is how we continue to work to ensure mental health services are available in Ottawa County.”

– Ottawa County Community Mental Health

“The Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey is extremely useful and beneficial for understanding youth and family needs. At Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence, we closely follow the Ottawa County Youth Assessment data trends around healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors and non-consensual sexual experiences. We save cumulative data to track trends for topics related to our mission and created an infographic of recent YAS data and community health outcomes for domestic violence. We regularly cite YAS data in grant applications when making the case for prevention education needs in our local communities.”

– Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence

“United Way views the Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey as a value add to our community, where the youth in our community have a voice. We also utilize youth data and compared to the adult data when possible in our own community assessment.”

– Greater Ottawa County United Way

“We use the YAS to inform the services we provide, how we provide them, and to inform what services we need to develop further or add!”

– Children’s Advocacy Center 

“As we mark the 10th administration of the YAS since 2005, the Youth Assessment Survey remains a valuable tool for understanding and addressing the ever-changing needs of our youth community. Its insights help us fine-tune interventions and support, ensuring a brighter future for our next generation. “

Kyle Mayer, Ph.D. — Superintendent Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

“The Youth Assessment Survey empowers the voices of our local youth, offering them a platform to share insights into their behavioral trends. This invaluable data equips districts and agencies with the tools necessary to tailor interventions and programming specifically aimed at addressing student risk behaviors. Additionally, it provides families and youth with a point of reference for conversations about the frequency of these behaviors.”

– Stacey Sills, M.Ed. , Regional School Health and Equity Consultant, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

“The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, including our Youth Advisory Council, see the YAS as a critical piece in supporting the work that we do in collaboration with community partners. This tool provides us with up-to-date data on the youth in our county and helps us identify intentional grantmaking and funding priorities which include addressing the current needs of youth. The YAS assists us in being purposeful and strategic with the resources that the community has entrusted to us.”

– Grand Haven Area Community Foundation

Conducted every two years at grades 8, 10 and 12 in participating Ottawa County schools.

Monitors how behaviors increase, decrease or stay the same over time.

Measures how many teens are engaged in a variety of risky and beneficial behaviors affecting their health and well-being.

The YAS provides evidence-based information about what the biggest needs are (and aren’t) among Ottawa County teens

Since 2005, the Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey has been used to monitor health risk behaviors in Ottawa County teens. Data from this anonymous survey has been used by local agencies and schools to enact more effective programs and policies to improve the health and well-being of local teens.

  • Gives parents information they may use to guide their teens in becoming physically, emotionally and mentally healthy adults.
  • Helps faith communities, local agencies and schools focus their efforts on the most pressing and prevalent issues teens face.
  • Helps evaluate the effectiveness of interventions developed to address pressing and prevalent teen issues.
  • Provides the option for school districts to have their own results to compare with Ottawa County as a whole. Schools and parents may then make evidence-based decisions about how to address their student body’s unique needs.
  • Organizations and community members may request an additional analysis that is suited to fit their needs.

Funding in 2023 Provided By