Assessment is an essential tool in supporting professionals in understanding the factors which have brought children in contact with the youth justice system and set in place an appropriate package of interventions to address their needs.

Assessment should help improve knowledge of the child’s situation and the reasons for the offending behaviour, including experience of trauma and exploitation. This enables the practitioner to reach defensible conclusions in reports for courts or panels regarding the likelihood of future offending behaviour, and of the risk of harm the child may pose to others, for example.

The YJB created ‘AssetPlus’, which is a comprehensive end-to-end assessment and planning framework. AssetPlus aims to:

  • identify strengths
  • identify needs and problems
  • facilitate planning of appropriate interventions for children who have offended or are at risk of offending, both in custody and the community

Children should be supported to be involved in assessing their own needs to gain a comprehensive view on what the issues are, and the most effective route to addressing them. Self-assessment promotes engagement and compliance with the requirements of court orders and gives important feedback which teams should use to improve the quality of its services. Teams should work in partnership with other partners to inform the assessment and share information.

For those practitioners that are new the youth justice system, you can access AssetPlus training on the Youth Justice interactive learning Space. This includes:

  • Assessment and Planning Foundation Training
  • Supporting resources including – children and parents self-assessments etc.