The Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, in partnership with Assessments.com has incorporated use of the PACT assessment instrument into our intake and ongoing case planning process. The purpose of utilizing the PACT is to assist us in maintaining and fine-tuning a responsive case management and supervision continuum whereby youth are assigned to appropriate supervision options based on risk to re-offend and connected to services, supports and programs that address their criminogenic needs, promote success and reduce recidivism.
The PACT assessment considers both static and dynamic risk and protective factors to identify youth needs. The twelve assessment domains are: Criminal History, School, Use of Free Time, Employment, Relationships, Family History, Living Arrangements, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Attitudes/Behaviors, Aggression and Skills.
Information regarding risk to re-offend will be used to match youth to the supervision option which will most likely support youth compliance, achieve positive outcomes and promote community safety. Youth with low to moderate risk to re-offend would likely be best served by one of our community-based provider programs which focus on development of pro-social skills, connection to resources and support in completing court-ordered requirements. Youth with moderate-high to high risk to re-offend will likely require the additional support, monitoring and structure provided by DYRS Community Services probation officers.
DYRS and community-based provider case managers will use information regarding the youth’s needs and strengths to develop comprehensive individualized case plans which connect youth to appropriate services and interventions that target prioritized needs. Matching services to needs will result in better outcomes for youth and the community.
Family engagement is a key component of the assessment process and development of individualized case plans. Community Services and provider staff have been trained in the evidence-based practice Motivational Interviewing to increase communication effectiveness and enable staff to work with youth and their families through the change process. Through this use of this practice, staff assist the youth and family in identifying areas requiring change and determining a course of action to achieve the goals related to that change. The process uses a non-judgmental, supportive approach which increases youth and family ownership in the plan as they have been integral in developing the plan.
The goal of plan development is to determine appropriate and effective interventions which address the youth’s criminogenic needs - the dynamic risk factors which contribute to delinquent behavior – that resulted in the youth being adjudicated delinquent and placed on supervision.
An updated PACT assessment is administered every four months, or as needed, to measure progress and determine areas of current need. This will assist case managers in determining the effectiveness of the current plan and interventions and charting a course, in conjunction with the youth and family, for plan refinement.