housing stability for youth in courts (H-SYNC)

Research Study

Here you will find information on the H-SYNC research study conducted by the University of Washington. For any further questions, please contact HSYNCresearch@gmail.com.


What is the H-SYNC Research Study?

The Housing Stability for Youth in Courts (H-SYNC) research study is looking at a new community program trying to prevent youth homelessness for youth involved in the juvenile court system. The program is being used in courts because of the high number of housing unstable youth that come into contact with the courts. In Washington State, around 40% of youth screened for court services had a history of housing instability. The study is looking at the impact of the H-SYNC program to see if it helps promote stable housing and relationships.

Who Is Doing the Research?

The research team is being led by Dr. Sarah Walker who is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Check out www.sajecenter.org for more information on some of Dr. Walker’s current and past research projects.

what will i be asked to do if I participate?

PArents and Youth

Parents and youth who participate in the study will be asked to complete a 30 minute questionnaire every 6 months over a year for a total of three surveys. These surveys will ask questions about the youth’s friendships, school activities, family relationships, and housing situation. A few parents and youth will also be randomly selected to participate in a followup 30 minute phone interview to provide feedback on their experiences in the program, but parents and youth can decline to participate.

Court Staff, Probation Staff, and Housing Coordinators

Staff who take part in the H-SYNC program will be asked to participate in a 30 minute phone interview about their experiences with the program.

Risks and Benefits of Participating


Parents and youth will receive a $15 gift card for each questionnaire completed (three total) and an additional $10 bonus gift card for completing all three (for a total possible gift card receipt of $55 for completing all of the surveys).

Parents, youth, court staff, probation staff, and housing advocates who are selected and complete the 30 minute followup phone interview will receive a $15 gift card.

Participants may also benefit from feeling good about helping discover better programs for youth and their families.


There is a chance participants may feel uncomfortable or may experience distress responding to particular questions. Participants do not have to answer any question they do not want to and can stop answering questions at any time. There is a small chance that your responses may be accidentally revealed, including responses related to illegal activities. This is most likely to happen while you are completing the survey or phone interview (especially if you are in a public place). For example, someone could read or overhear your answers while you’re participating. Therefore, we suggest completing surveys and phone interviews in a private location.

What if I do not want to Participate?

Participation is totally voluntary. There are no negative consequences for not participating in the study. Parents and youth can still take part in the H-SYNC program and any other court activities that are offered if they choose not to participate in the study. Participants may withdraw from the study at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which they are otherwise entitled, including any gift cards received up until that point.

More Information

CLICK HERE to review the “Parent Info Statement” for PARENTS of youth involved in the H-SYNC program.

CLICK HERE to review the “Youth Info Statement” for YOUTH involved in the H-SYNC program.

CLICK HERE to review the “Youth Turns 18 Info Statement” for YOUTH involved in the study WHO TURN 18.

CLICK HERE to review the “Phone Interview Info Statement” for YOUTH/PARENTS selected to participate in the phone interview.

CLICK HERE to review the “Phone Interview Info Statement” for STAFF selected to participate in the phone interview.

Questions or Concerns?

E-mail HSYNCresearch@gmail.com with any additional questions. Contact the Human Subjects Division at the University of Washington if you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a research subject. Phone: 206-543-0098.