Y A S IYouthAssessment and Screening Instrument www.orbispartners.com
Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument - YASI The Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) is a modified version of the Washington Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument (CMAP). The model has been adapted for use in a number of additional jurisdictions by Orbis Partners, Inc.
Innovative Assessment approach Good item definitions with multiple response categories as opposed to a “checklist format Numerous items for the more “subjective” domains (e.g., attitudes and cognitive/social skills) User input in design of the tool Strength of instrument design for conducting reassessments Motivation-based interviewing style Inclusion of Protective Factors Research is highly supportive of the validity of the tool Why the Washington Model?
YASI – Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument • The YASI has been customized by Orbis Partners for use in a number of new settings: • New York State juvenile probation (New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives) • Illinois juvenile probation (Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts • Illinois status offenders and delinquency prevention services (Illinois Department of Human Services) • North Dakota juvenile probation (North Dakota Juvenile Court) • Berrien County juvenile probation (Berrien County, Michigan)
Pre-Screen (32 Items) Legal History Family School Community/Peers Substance Abuse Mental Health Attitudes Full Assessment (85 Items) Legal History Family School Community/Peers Substance Abuse Mental Health Attitudes Skills (Social/Cognitive) Use of Free Time Employment Pre-Screen and Full Assessment Versions Pre-Screens provide an initial determination of risk, while full assessments provide detailed risk and protective factor profiles for case planning purposes
Utility of the Pre-Screen Based on triage principles, the use of a pre-screen is an efficient method for identifying higher risk youth who will need more thorough assessment and subsequent services/interventions at intensive levels. Low risk youth who do not require intensive services are quickly identified using the pre-screen items – a sub-set of the full assessment protocol. Full Assessments are recommended for youth who score “moderate” or “high” risk on the pre-screen. The full assessment provides a graphic profile of both risk and protective factors (strengths).
A unique feature of the YASI is the presentation of results on a “wheel” YASI Profile Wheel: Static/Dynamic Scoring Levels Results of the assessment are broken down by static and dynamic components for both risk and protective factors. Results for each sub-scale (e.g., legal history, family, etc.) are presented as “none”, “low”, “moderate”, or “high” levels for each risk and protective factor. Summarizing The full assessment wheel is a helpful for summarizing all scores generated by YASI. Risk is shown on the outer wheel, protective factorson the inner wheel.
The YASI Profile “Wheel” Risk Factors Risk Factors H 1 Legal History L 2 Family/Environment H Risk Factors 10 Use of Free Time Risk Factors Overall Scores L L Overall Risk Level 9 Employ-ment H M 3 School 0 L Overall Protective Factors Protective Factors 4 Community/Peer L L 8Skills H H Static/Dynamic Summary 0 0 7 Attitudes/Behavior 5Alcohol/Drugs Risk Factors Dynamic Risk Static Risk Risk Factors 6MentalHealth VH H H H Static Protective Factors Dynamic Protective Factors M Risk Factors 0 L
YASI Profile Wheel • Using software, the results are displayed in a graphic style - this encourages well informed case analysis that will lead to appropriate supervision planning. • Using the generated profile, the results can be easily shared with referral agents and other service providers involved in serving the youth.
Importance of Dynamic Scores • The YASI emphasizes dynamic risk scores in a reassessment context that monitors needs and protective factors over the course of supervision. The goal is to provide important feedback for adjusting case plans in a dynamic way • Reassessments are easily facilitated through the YASI software and results for individual youth can be examined and compared over time
Dynamic Protective Factors Dynamic Risk VH MH Monitoring Progress Using DynamicScores Multiple Levels • None • Low • Low Moderate • Moderate • Moderate High • High • Very High For overall dynamic Scores on Risk and Protective Factors, YASI is designed to display up to six levels for greater sensitivity in detecting change after reassessment.
YASI Software • Point and Click Assessment • YASI Software is easy to use • Excellent graphic presentation of results in seconds • Various utilities for printing results and aggregating data for agency statistical purposes • Based on an MS ACCESS 2000/2002 platform • Excellent Toll Free Support for Users
Entering YASI Pre-Screen and Full Assessment Data Click a Help Box (?) to see more detailed definitions of YASI Items Item Completion Indicators provide users with feedback on how many YASI items have been completed
Case Planning Capability • The YASI Software includes an integrated case planning component • The case planning function is driven by the assessment results • Case management activities can also be recorded with the software (e.g., record referrals, completion of programs, action plans, etc.)
YASI Results and Case Planning Functions The software provides for narrative input on the case plan. An additional module can be opened to record action plans, services, interven-tions. Using the YASI wheel, users display results, then click on the risk and protective factors that will become priority areas for the case plan.
Training • Orbis Partners provides a dynamic training team and delivers well-designed training materials to motivate staff • Training includes an initial 2-day session where staff learn to administer the YASI • A 2-day Follow-up Training focuses on practical skills to use the YASI for case planning purposes • The research-based “What Works” model serves as the foundation of all training
Implementation • Implementation support is essential to the success of the YASI model – Orbis team members remain involved to help agencies derive maximum use from the tool • Ongoing coaching provides agencies with the ability to explore new applications for the tool • Software and technical support (e.g., interpretation of results, etc.) is provided through toll free support
Research • A research-based philosophy informs all of our work • Research services focus on validation of YASI scores and adjustments to cutoffs to ensure optimal predictive utility • An important component of the YASI implementation involves assisting managers to generate the critical statistical information they need from the YASI database (e.g., reporting on outcomes, statistics for grant applications, etc.)
Development • A number of software enhancements are currently in the design stages: • Automated narrative reports for pre-sentence or social histories will be generated with the YASI software. • A Detention Screening tab will be added to aid decision-making about detaining youth. • Information management workshops to help managers generate and display YASI data in effective ways. • A similar adult offender assessment model has been developed for use in probation, parole, and other adult correctional settings.
Frequently Asked Questions On the following slides we address some of the questions that users, managers, and other service providers have about the YASI.
How does YASI differ from the CMAP juvenile risk assessment tool used in Washington State? The YASI is based on the Washington model with the same item formats and general features that make the model attractive in juvenile assessment settings. However, the YASI has been modified to reflect differences across jurisdictions. In addition, the YASI uses somewhat fewer items, with streamlining in some sections. The YASI has a unique format for reporting on the results of the assessment - using the YASI “Wheel”.
Who owns the YASI? The model on which the YASI is based was developed by the Washington State Institute of Public Policy in collaboration with the Washington State Association of Juvenile Court Administrators. The model is considered a “public domain” tool. Other jurisdictions have customized the tool to fit their youth service programs and reflect differences in juvenile justice processing. Orbis Partners provides training, implementation assistance, software, and research services to support the use of the YASI by a number of jurisdictions.
Who administers the YASI? For the most part, the YASI is completed by juvenile probation officers, youth service workers, case management officers, and other service providers responsible for serving the needs of supervision troubled youth. Ideally, the YASI should be completed by the professional most involved in coordinating services for the case. Reassessments can be completed by other service providers who are in a position to assess progress.
What sources of information are used to complete a YASI assessment? The YASI is based on multiple sources of information about the youth. An interview with the youth, and often with parents, forms the foundation of the assessment. However, the information from the interview is supplemented by official records, social histories, school reports, police reports, mental health service providers, and any other relevant information source that can be identified.
How long does it take to complete a YASI assessment? Obviously, the amount of time to complete the assessment varies from one client to the next. With respect to the youth interview, pre-screens can be completed in 15 to 30 minutes for the majority of cases. Full assessments may take from 30 to 60 minutes. All of the pre-screen items are contained in the full assessment. Once the pre-screen is completed, the remaining full assessment items can usually be completed more quickly.
Why do the YASI items have multiple choice response categories? Multiple response categories are used for many of the dynamic items in the assessment battery. This method is especially sensitive to detecting changes over time. Rather than using a forced choice format(“yes/no”), the dynamic items assume that problems and strengths are best measured in gradations. Change over time usually reflects modest increments on the YASI items – e.g., a problem may not go away entirely, but may improve somewhat over the course of supervision. The use of multiple choice responses helps identify those changes, however modest.
Why does the YASI look so long? The YASI is very comprehensive. Generally, the full assessment is longer than most other available tools for juvenile assessment (e.g., about 90 items). However, the Pre-Screen, which is used to establish overall risk levels and predict recidivism, is generally shorter (e.g., about 30 items). Since the full assessment is more thorough, it is generally used to provide a greater detail in profiles of youth who will receive more intensive services/interventions (i.e. higher risk).
Is all of that detail really necessary for a YASI full assessment? For prediction purposes “all of that detail” is not really necessary. The pre-screen does a good job of predicting recidivism in youth populations. However, the full assessment gives a clearer picture of what needs to happen at the intervention level in order to reduce recidivism. Many of the YASI items are phrased in a way that provides behavioral targets for the case plan and helps pinpoint the objectives for how the youth needs to change over the course of probation or youth services. The detail in the items reflects the case management model on which the assessment is based.
Is the YASI strictly a juvenile justice tool? The YASI works very well in juvenile justice settings where the objective is to prevent delinquency recidivism. However, the YASI is sufficiently comprehensive to work in other youth service settings that serve high risk kids who tend to present with multiple problems. The YASI can provide strong social history information and assess dynamic targets that are likely to become the focus of service in an array of youth service contexts – delinquency prevention, substance abuse services, foster placements, child welfare, family services, truancy programs, attendance centers, homeless services, etc..
Why are protective factors included in a risk assessment? Protective factors are strengths or assets that help reduce negative outcomes. These include family strengths, attachments to school, academic performance, positive peer influences, community involvement, healthy leisure pursuits, problem-solving skills, positive attitudinal dispositions, and many other strengths. Youth who exhibit high adjustment and fewer negative outcomes (e.g., violence, substance abuse, school failure, etc.) display more protective factors than youth who are experiencing difficulties. As such, protective factors provide highly relevant information when conducting assessments with high risk youth.
Aren't protective factors just the “flip-side” of risk factors? In many respects protective factors or strengths are the “flip-side” of risk. Often the two are highly correlated – i.e., being high risk in an area like school often implies having less strength in that area too. However, in many cases youth display elements of both risk and strengths in areas like school, family, peer relationships, etc. In such cases, knowing about strengths in addition to risk provides a fuller picture. Promising new research now points to the potential for strengths to “buffer” the negative effects of risk by helping to reduce negative outcomes even when risk factors are present.
What are the potential applications of the YASI? The YASI has a variety of potential applications in juvenile probation, corrections, and other youth service settings. YASI results can help set contact levels for probation cases, assist in decisions regarding supervision of cases in community and custodial settings, identify needs and strengths to target in service plans, select appropriate candidates for focused programs (e.g., family services, cognitive skills, etc.), monitor progress over the course of service, adjust supervision levels over time, and gather information about the characteristics of a service population.
How valid is the YASI? Validity usually refers to the ability of an instrument to predict outcomes (e.g., recidivism in juvenile justice settings). The content of the YASI reflects many years of accumulated research on the predictors of outcome in juvenile justice and correctional populations. As such, the results of the assessment have produced strong evidence of the predictability of the tool. The following slides provide examples of some of the data that has been generated using the model in Washington, New York, and Illinois.
Recidivism Rates by Risk Level (Washington Sate Sample Size= 10,046) 60% 50% 40% 18-Month Felony and Misdemeanor Recidivism Rate 30% 20% 10% Risk Level 0% Low Moderate High
New Legal Involvement by Risk and Protective Factors Combined – Illinois Department of Human Service Sample
Referrals for Petition by YASI Risk Levels (%)New York State Juvenile Probation Sample (n=1654)
How much does the YASI cost per administration? Because the tool is based on a public domain assessment model, there are no “per administration costs” each time the YASI is used to complete an assessment.
How much does the YASI software cost? Software for completing the YASI is available from Orbis Partners, Inc. The software is not sold or licensed separately from other services that are provided to support the use of the YASI. Normally, Orbis provides the software as part of a “bundle of services” that includes training, implementation support, research/validation, and software.
Where do I get YASI training? Training for the administration and use of the YASI is provided by Orbis Partners. Training is provided on a frequent basis. Normally, training is arranged as part of a larger implementation of the YASI in a jurisdiction.
Philosophy YASI Research, Training, and Implementation Team Applied Research for Capacity Building • Research and Evaluation • Training and Knowledge Dissemination • David Robinson, PhD • Bart Millson, MA • Marilyn VanDieten, Ph.D. • Diana Wavra, BA • Sue EckMaahs, BA • Bill Wilson, MA • Alex P. Stringer, MA • Amanda Elson, BA • Jon Darlington, BA (software support) Orbis Partners, Inc. – Who are we?
Visit us at www.orbispartners.comOrbis Partners, Inc.111 Colonnade Road North, Suite 207Ottawa, CanadaK2E 7M3613-236-0773613-236-3433 (Fax)