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Viewpoint's new AssetPlus FSA (full self-assessment) Self-Reporting Tool for young people, parents and carers

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Practitioners, managers and researchers in the youth justice field have long recognised the importance of assessment and intervention planning and that they inform all youth justice services do.

In the introduction to the YJB’s paper, ‘AssetPlus Rationale’, Dr Kerry Baker recognises the central importance of assessment and intervention planning and that they are: "demanding professional tasks requiring high levels of knowledge and skill. Structured assessment tools or frameworks can assist with these tasks but will be of most use if individual practitioners and organisations see them as supporting professional practice, rather than replacing it." (Baker et al., 2011.)

As part of the process undertaken by the YJB in consultation with YOSs to update these assessment tools, all YOSs in England and Wales are now in the process of deploying the new AssetPlus framework and related tools in their services.

In the YJB’s document, AssetPlus Model (Version 1.1 Revised October 2014), the primary purpose of assessment is described as, “to identify and explore areas of the young person’s life that may promote or prevent behavioural change”, with the updated AssetPlus, “placing a sharper focus …. on factors which might affect a young person’s willingness to participate in interventions, and affect the prospect of achieving positive change. It increases the emphasis in the assessment process on identifying strengths. Information from this section will be important for planning pathways out of offending and for developing the intervention plan.”

In the same document, there is a section which emphasises the importance of self-assessment in youth justice practice: “Ensuring young people and their parents/carers feel engaged in the assessment and planning intervention process is important in securing participation and achieving the desired outcomes of each young person’s intervention plan.” It goes onto describe how AssetPlus self-assessment will be: “available in both first and third person and will be tailored to the various stages the young person may be at in the youth justice system. Self-assessment questionnaires will also be available for parents/carers”, as well as for young people.

Viewpoint, in consultation with the YJB leads, has now developed a new AssetPlus FSA (full self-assessment) tool containing interactive questionnaires for young people, their parents and carers supported by Viewpoint’s engaging and accessible ACASI software (graphics, speech, symbols, “easy read” language (see link to Viewpoint Information System below) enabling service users to directly participate and self-assess through self-reporting at various stages of their involvement with youth justice services.

 These new AssetPlus Young Person FSA self-reporting questionnaires include:

  • Prevention, Prevention Review and Prevention Case Closure stages
  • Statutory Community, Statutory Community Review, and Statutory Case Closure stages
  • Custody (for young people at the bail recommendation, placement notification, PSR all options, and post court report stages; and FSA Custody Review stages
  • Parent/Carer, and
  • A new YOT to Probation for young people going through the transition from youth justice to adult probation services. 

As each service user (young person, parent or carer) accesses and completes their FSA questionnaire, this information is immediately available for direct work by lead workers, often casework managers, and the young person, parent or carer they’re working with.

Service user’s responses to these questionnaires also provide immediate, continuous evidence to youth justice practitioners and managers of young people’s attitudes and behaviours, their resilience and safeguarding status, desistance from offending or anti-social behaviour, and possible routes out of offending as well as how these are changing during the intervention. (See link to Individual Distance Report below.)

These new AssetPlus FSA questionnaires are now available to all YOSs in England and Wales who use Viewpoint youth justice assessment tools in their practice and can be used alongside other Viewpoint youth justice self-assessment questionnaires developed with and or used by YOSs including:

  • Preferred learning style assessment
  • Substance Misuse risk assessment
  • Child Protection (Safeguarding) and LAC review assessment and planning*
  • Restorative justice and Victim satisfaction service evaluation
  • The new CSE assessment and evaluation tool*

*specifically designed for multi-agency use

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the new AssetPlus FSA self-reporting tool... Whether or not you have a local Viewpoint licence, all YOSs will have used Viewpoint self-reporting questionnaires for young people to participate in the eSurvey, part of HMI Probation’s inspection of Youth Offending Work (see link to HMIP eSurvey Circular below). However, if you are interested in learning more about how Viewpoint’s self-assessment, self-reporting tools could be used in your service, please contact Neil Hopkins.