Screening and assessment in the youth justice system

Assessment forms: young people in the youth justice system

Assessment tools in custody

Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT):

A single tool for the screening of health and well-being needs for use across the youth justice system. There is one version for community settings and another for custodial settings. CHAT has been developed by the Offender Health Research Network as part of the programme of work under the Healthy children, safer communities strategy.

Assessment tools in community settings

Asset - assess the risks and needs of a young person when they first come into contact with a youth offending team

ASSET PLUS: Speech, language, communication and neuro-disability screening tool

The Youth Justice Board has released the speech, language and neurodisability (SLCN) tool from AssetPlus as an Early Practice Change Tool. The SLCN screening tool will help practitioners identify any speech, language and communication needs in young people. It is based on the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ (RCSLT) screening tool.

Onset - to assess young people deemed to be at particular risk of offending for the first time

SIFA and SQIFA - specific screening and assessment tools to assess a young person’s mental-health needs, depending on the result of the Asset assessment.

Find out more on Assessment forms used in the youth justice system from: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales

A number of youth offending teams (YOTs) have developed their own tools:
Asset and Onset were designed specifically to assess risk in relation to offending and to measure progress in preventing re-offending.  Whilst they include sections on physical, emotional and mental health, and substance misuse, their focus is on the extent to which these health needs are associated with the likelihood of further offending. As a result physical health problems are often overlooked and hidden disabilities such as speech and language difficulties lack understanding.

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