March 27, 2019
Identifying factors that contribute to healthy and unhealthy teen relationships can be a major factor in helping teens avoid regular interaction with the justice system. The Youth Assessment Center (YAC) is doing its part to help identify these factors through a partnership with the University of Illinois Department of Psychology.
Sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, a project called VIP Screen engages with youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Over the course of one year, each youth participates in three surveys that ask them about situations of adversity they have faced in their lives, as well as individual differences that are related to emotional and behavioral well-being. The surveys are administered by graduate students of the UI Department of Psychology.
Individuals chosen for VIP Screen do not have to be YAC clients but do have to be referred to the project by the YAC. Participants are compensated for their time with a $20 Amazon gift card for each completed survey. As further incentive, those who complete all three surveys are given an additional $15 gift card.
“The Youth Assessment Center’s assistance with this project allows us to strengthen our partnership with an area service provider whose goal is to develop a trauma-informed assessment protocol,” says YAC coordinator Jonathan Westfield. “This protocol is culturally competent and more closely connected to evidence-based prevention services because it focuses on dynamic risk and protective factors as opposed to historical static events.”