The quality of life of institutions for youth
This article presents the initial findings of the Quality of Institutional Life Measurement (QoILM), a tool designed to assess subjective evaluations of the organizational quality of institutions for children and adolescents, and of the quality of life for the residents in these institutions. The QOILM measures all possible aspects of quality, incorporating the broad range of factors relevant to experts, staff, and residents’ perceptions of institutions. This approach provides a common denominator for evaluating and comparing the vast array of types of institutions for young people. Experts and staff evaluated the organizational quality of these institutions; residents and staff evaluated the quality of life within them. Neither the experts’ and the staff's nor the residents’ and staff's evaluations of quality correlated with institutional type or other variables usually studied by policy makers and researchers. This study suggests that particular program design or institutional type by themselves do not determine success. In contrast, it is the process of development and the interactions between residents and their institutions (such as manifested in a high quality of life) that are likely to influence success.