Youth AOD Work
A digital AOD tool for young people
YoDAA has created an online AOD tool for young people! The tool incorporates the benefits of the digital medium with the best aspects of interacting with a youth worker.
What exactly does it do?
“Working it out with YoDAA” is designed to help young people consider where they are at in relation to their drug and alcohol related needs. It encourages help seeking where necessary and offers next steps for help and support. It also helps workers with existing relationships who are not confident tackling AOD issues to ‘go there’ with young people they work with.
How does it mirror an interaction with a youth worker?
The tool is based on commonly asked Youth drug and alcohol screening questions. It asks them in a way that is “youth friendly” modelled on the way a youth AOD worker would approach a first meeting with a young person. For instance:
- Every question in the tool has feedback
- Outcomes are influenced by age of the young person
- A young person has the choice to answer questions in any order
- Questions and concepts are explained and clarified
- Alerts and instant feedback are triggered for worrying scenarios or answers
- Young people can save progress and complete the tool later on
- The wording of questions and design of the tool has been heavily influenced by consultation with young people.
- Email reminders are available to young people who start the tool but don’t complete it (in the same way a worker would assertively follow up an original enquiry to ascertain a young person’s interest.
There are other online tools out there, why is this different?
Apart from the above functionality, the tool offers a fun, rewarding, interactive, encouraging and empowering experience that is entirely different to filling out an online form. It offers young people help, information and support that matches the specific information they are providing.
But will young people actually use it?
As well experts from the youth AOD field, young people were heavily involved in the design and development of this tool. Their input is reflected in the look, feel, language, and functionality of the tool resulting in a product that we think is truly ‘youth friendly’. In the words of a youth consultant ‘It’s actually fun’.
What happens to the results?
The tool does not diagnose conditions or problems. Feedback and ‘next steps’ are respectfully offered throughout the process and at the end.
A young person can complete the tool anonymously from start to finish and will receive feedback and suggestions. They can even choose to create a password protected account so they can save their results and go back and complete the tool later. An account also allows them to compare results to other times they have completed the tool. The tool never asks for personal details such as a person’s name but a valid email address is necessary if a young person wants to register an account. Young people can also choose to email results to a worker.
How can the tool help workers?
- A young person can choose to email their results to a worker or service. This may make referrals or even understanding needs of existing clients easier. It may save them repeating info and discussing the results and feedback may help engagement and decision making around pathways.
- It helps referral discussions. The tools suggestions and outcomes provide a shared framework to help discussions and negotiations between services regarding referrals.
- The tool enables workers who have engaged a young person but are not proficient / confident in AOD assessment to get a picture of where a young person is at.
- Feedback to specific questions as well as overall info and advice can be explored together with a young person. This promotes engagement, and provides teaching and modelling of help seeking.
- The tool also helps build the capacity of both workers by explaining why questions are asked, and modelling appropriate feedback and responses.
You can access the tool here