- Youth Offender Care Needs Assessment Tool (YO-CNAT): an actuarial risk assessment tool for predicting problematic child-rearing situations in juvenile offenders on the basis of police records
- Psychological Assessment
- Volume | Issue number
- 25 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
In the juvenile justice system, much attention is paid to estimating the risk for recidivism among juvenile offenders. However, it is also important to estimate the risk for problematic child-rearing situations (care needs) in juvenile offenders, because these problems are not always related to recidivism. In the present study, an actuarial care needs assessment tool for juvenile offenders, the Youth Offender Care Needs Assessment Tool (YO-CNAT), was developed to predict the probability of (a) a future supervision order imposed by the child welfare agency, (b) a future entitlement to care indicated by the youth care agency, and (c) future incidents involving child abuse, domestic violence, and/or sexual norm trespassing behavior at the juvenile's address. The YO-CNAT has been developed for use by the police and is based solely on information available in police registration systems. It is designed to assist a police officer without clinical expertise in making a quick assessment of the risk for problematic child-rearing situations. The YO-CNAT was developed on a sample of 1,955 juvenile offenders and was validated on another sample of 2,045 juvenile offenders. The predictive validity (area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve) scores ranged between .70 (for predicting future entitlement to care) and .75 (for predicting future worrisome incidents at the juvenile's address); therefore, the predictive accuracy of the test scores of the YO-CNAT was sufficient to justify its use as a screening instrument for the police in deciding to refer a juvenile offender to the youth care agency for further assessment into care needs.
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