Life-Skills, Empowerment, and Development Services, Inc. - LEADS

Informed Consent for Project Evaluation of 
Life-skills, Empowerment and Development Services (LEADS) 


Dear Parent/Guardian,
We would like to invite your youth to participate in our Healthy Relationships program/study for high school teens.  The program/study has already been conducted with hundreds of Florida youth in schools and community settings, and the goal of the program is to help young people protect their physical and emotional health.  That means they learn to protect their hearts as well as their bodies.  Youth learn skills that can reduce the risky behaviors often associated with adolescence. All high school aged youth, both male and female, between the ages of 14-18 are invited to participate in the program/study even if they are not currently in high school.

We are conducting a study to determine how well we are serving youth in our program.  We are interested in learning if our two-day program presenting the evidence-based LOVE NOTES SRA EBP curriculum improves your teen’s knowledge regarding healthy relationships between boy/girl, peer-to-peer, and family members as well as how to avoid risk-taking behaviors relating to substance abuse.  

We are interested in learning what impact our program is having on the knowledge and attitudes of the youth receiving LOVE NOTES SRA EBP. Youth will be asked to participate in two consecutive Saturday classes of six hours each. (Depending upon the course of the pandemic, these may be implemented virtually.  When it is safe, we will conduct in-person sessions at various community locations.)  Youth will receive 12 hours of LOVE NOTES curriculum over the course of two six-hour days. They will be given a brief survey prior to implementation of the curriculum, and another at the end of the program.  The surveys are anonymous, and they are voluntary.  A youth may choose not to do either survey, or they may choose not to answer any question on the survey. They will also receive a Youth Satisfaction Survey at the end of the program. (Copies of these surveys can be found by following this link.)
The results from these surveys will be shared in a report and used to teach others, but your teens name or any identifying information is never used.  Data is reported only as a large group of numbers and never by individual. Eg. “As a result of this program 500 youth out of 580, indicated that they were less likely to smoke marijuana on the exit survey than on the entrance survey.” The program is funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau. 

Program/Study Duration:
As previously stated, the program is generally conducted over two consecutive Saturdays, each day begin approximately 6 hours. In some settings, such as a school, this may vary, but all youth will receive 12 hours of the program.  Each survey (one given prior to the program and one upon its completion) will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The Youth Satisfaction Survey will take less than 5 minutes.

Possible Risks:
We do not anticipate any risks associated with participating in this program/ study. If any question asked makes a participant uncomfortable, they are always free to decline to answer or to discontinue participation at any time.  This information will be provided to the youth before the surveys are distributed and they are free to hand in a blank survey or one with some questions unanswered.

Participating in this program/study will help your teen learn to identify healthy relationships and make healthy choices that protect his or her future aspirations. Youth will learn how to manage conflict, remove themselves from potentially dangerous situations, and improve communication skills. Skills important for all relationships, peer-to-peer, boy/girl, family, and work.  We hope to use the information obtained from this program/study to improve our HEARTS-H program and further benefit youth who participate in the HEARTS-H program in the future. We have received feedback from some parents whose children were in the program.  They stated that their communication at home has improved. Youth are not paid to participate in the program, (no direct benefit) but they do receive a gift card incentive.

There are no costs to participate in this program/study.  However, participants are incentivized for their time and participation.

Youth who complete the program will receive a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card. They will also receive a T-shirt, and while our face-to-face programs include lunch and snacks, during virtual implementation teens will receive a $20.00 food gift card.  In most cases incentives will be given at the close of each two-day session, although in some cases they may be delayed for up to one week.

Participation is Voluntary:
No youth needs to participate in this program//study if they do not want to. If your teen volunteers to be in this program/study, you may withdraw him or her from it at any time. 

We will keep you and your child’s surveys private and confidential. The surveys will have no name, birth date or other identifying information.  Surveys will not be shared with schools or other programs where the child may be enrolled.  Your teen’s information would only be used for program improvement purposes. Sometimes a review of parent’s consent forms like this and other records may be looked over to make sure the program/study is done safely and legally.  Anyone who reviews our records must first sign a confidentiality agreement, so all information is kept private.
This program/study is exempt from any Institutional Review Board oversight.  The HEARTS-H program follows the same program evaluation protocols as our FRIEND program.  To see IRB Exemption Letter click here.

Contact Information:
If you have any questions regarding your rights as the parent/legal guardian of a participant in this program/study, please contact:

Marlaina Satcher

PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to provide consent for the surveys in order to participate in the program.