Youth Assent Form

RAJO is a community program that provides support to Somali-Canadian youth and their families. As part of this support, RAJO will bring together groups of Somali-Canadian youth at school to share their thoughts and experiences and do activities together. The groups will run once a week for 12 weeks, for about one to two hours each time. 

Does RAJO really work?

Since RAJO is new to Canada, and this is the first time it is being delivered to young people in high school, we need to find out if it works and how to improve it. An evaluation of the program helps us do this. RAJO is working with Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) – a non-profit research organization – to evaluate the program so we can be sure it helps participants and their families. The evaluation has been approved by the Ottawa-Carleton Research and Evaluation Advisory Committee, Edmonton Public Schools, and the Public Safety Canada Evaluation Advisors.

What is my role in the evaluation?

During the program, you will complete questionnaires with your RAJO counsellor. If you agree to take part in the evaluation, your answers will be shared with SRDC. SRDC might also invite you to participate in an interview or focus group later to hear what you think about the program. RAJO clinicians will also ask to access your school administrative data (such as your report cards or information about your grades, attendance, and/or disciplinary incidents) in accordance with local school/school board processes. If you agree to allow RAJO staff to access your school administrative data, RAJO will share this information with SRDC. SRDC will not know your name, and instead your information will be linked to your unique RAJO ID code.

What are my rights?

Participation in the evaluation is voluntary. This means you can say yes or no to the evaluation – or decide to leave it early – and still participate in the RAJO program.

You have the right to confidentiality and protection of privacy. All of your questionnaire and interview/focus group information will be grouped with other participants’ answers and will be completely anonymous. RAJO will not share your name or anything that could identify you. However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality. If there is evidence of clear and imminent danger of harm to self and/or others, a researcher is legally required to report this information to the authorities responsible for ensuring safety. Researchers who learn of, or strongly suspect, physical or sexual abuse or neglect of any person under 18 years of age must report this information to county child protection services. Also, a court order, issued by a judge, may require the researcher to release information contained in records and/or require a researcher to testify in a court hearing.

What are the benefits of participating in RAJO and the evaluation? Are there any risks to me?

We hope participating in RAJO helps you with challenges you may be facing at school, home, or in other areas of your life. By participating in the evaluation, you will have a chance to share what you think about RAJO to help improve it for others who participate in the future. 

By participating in RAJO there is a chance of increased vulnerability, embarrassment, stress, and other emotional and psychological discomfort because programming deals with sensitive topics directly. SRDC understands the potentially sensitive nature of some components of the evaluation and will work with RAJO staff to ensure your well-being throughout this process. 

Should you decide to participate in an interview or focus group as part of the evaluation, it may be possible for others to identify your responses due to the small number of interview and focus group participants. If you participate in a focus group, SRDC staff will set ground about keeping what is discussed in the group private but cannot guarantee confidentiality in the same way as in a one-on-one interview.

How will my information be kept safe?

All information collected for the evaluation will be managed in accordance with the Access to Information Act, Privacy Act, and other applicable privacy laws. Information on paper will be kept in a locked filing cabinet, and electronic information will be password protected on a computer in the SRDC offices, so no one except RAJO or SRDC an access it. Your information will be destroyed by March 21, 2027 (five years after the evaluation ends). If you decide not to participate in the evaluation or leave it early, your information will be destroyed immediately and not used in the study at all. 

Who will use the information collected? 

RAJO staff will share the results of the questionnaire with SRDC for the evaluation but your personal information (like your name) will not be shared by the RAJO staff with anyone. Your individual results and your identity will never be published by RAJO, Public Safety Canada, SRDC or any other party. SRDC will provide evaluation reports to RAJO and Public Safety Canada that will contain the overall results from questionnaires but will not include any personal information about you specifically. The overall evaluation results may also be published by RAJO or Public Safety Canada for the purposes of informing future RAJO programming. In addition, the Boston Children’s Hospital may also publish academic journal articles to inform similar programs. 

 

Any questions? Please contact the following:

  • About the RAJO group: Group facilitators [contact information]
  • About the RAJO program: RAJO Staff contact info
  • About the evaluation or ethics: Christina Hackett, SRDC (613-237-4312 or chackett@srdc.org)
  • About ethics: Christina Wright, Public Safety Canada (613-949-4269 or christina.wright@canada.ca)