The Family Acceptance Project™ uses a participatory research approach to reflect the reality and lived experiences of youth and their families. Participatory research provides a new dynamic for creating knowledge in which the alliance of community members, affected populations and researchers transforms both the structure of services and the way that knowledge gets produced.
Members of our target population, providers, teachers, parents and youth collaborate on the project by participating in a Community Research Council and providing guidance on outreach activities, protocol development, analyzing data, developing publications and disseminating findings.
Community Research Council members include staff and youth from:
- Berkeley Unified School District
- Good Samaritan Family Resource Center
- Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY)
- Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC)
- Mission Neighborhood Health Center
- San Francisco General Hospital
- San Francisco Unified School District San Francisco Department of Public Health, Community Health Programs for Youth
- Stanford University, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine UCSF Division of Adolescent Medicine
Our research team includes two key coalitions including the Adolescent Health Working Group and the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Network both of which have provided ongoing consultation, knowledge and expertise in shaping our direction and outcomes.
Participatory research is a core approach to our work. We are committed to developing new models of participatory research, not only to inform our research and planning, but also to share these approaches with other researchers and decision makers to ensure that research reflects the lives, needs and experiences of individuals and groups in the context of their cultures and communities. One outcome of the Family Acceptance Project™ is a model of participatory research for prevention and health services research.