Obtaining Consent

This is by far the most important piece of the entire evaluation because it protects the safety and rights of participants. In order to collect information from individuals participating in the evaluation, we must obtain their legally effective informed consent. No one who has not obtained their CITI Human Subjects certification should be participating in these procedures or any research procedures.

Understand the history and importance of consent here.

PSY Evaluation Informed Consent Step-By-Step

Going over the consent document with participant. Hand participant their own copy of consent form to read and keep.

  1. Explain that this is an evaluation/research study: “The purpose of this study  is to understand youths’ experience in housing interventions.”

  2. Emphasize that participation is voluntary. They can choose to not participate at any point and it will not impact their services.

  3. Explain purpose of the evaluation – why we are doing the evaluation, why we are asking them to participate

  4. Describe evaluation procedures – what does participation involve, what will the participant be asked to do as part of the evaluation, expected duration (approximately 30-40 minutes, 4 opportunities to surveys- they can do future surveys on their own time via an online link, they will receive $25 after completion of each survey)

  5. Describe potential risks – physical, psychological, social – likelihood of occurrence, and what will be done if they do occur: “Risk could include thinking about sensitive topics like sexual risk behaviors and homelessness experiences”

  6. Describe potential benefits – likely direct benefits and likelihood of occurrence, indirect benefits. (Compensation for their time CANNOT be described as a benefit).

  7. Alternatives- what happens if participant refuses to participate.

  8. Confidentiality – how will their information be kept confidential, who will get the info, where and how it will be stored.  Exception to confidentiality will be if there is information divulged that indicates risk of suicide, homicide or abuse

  9. If the participant agrees to participate in the evaluation, the participant must sign the Participation Agreement.

  • Program staff must offer a copy of the signed Participation Agreement to the participant to keep for their records (many young persons choose not to keep this).

  • Participant will enter their electronic consent on the survey

  • Program staff will enter their electronic signature on the survey as well


The consent form is a permanent record of:

  • The information conveyed to the potential participant

  • The fact that the consent process occurred

  • The participant’s willingness to participate


Privacy and Confidentiality

  • We are required to protect the privacy of participants and the confidentiality of their information

  • Privacy: Conduct interviews where others cannot overhear

  • Confidentiality:

    • Do not divulge information about participants except to those authorized to have via the consent form.

    • Use data security procedures to prevent accidental disclosure/loss of data

    • Email: don’t email anything with names of participants or any data files