National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners

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NYSAP Trainings

We offer trainings within three broad areas: Behavioral Health Screening, Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial, and Risk-Needs Assessment or Risk Screening. Most trainings offered by NYSAP can be conducted in-person or remotely. The maximum number of attendees and costs vary depending on the specific training, the level of customization needed for the agency, and whether the training is remote or in-person.

Behavioral Health Screening Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial Risk-Needs Assessment or Risk Screening
Youth Level of Service / Case Management Inventory (YLS / CMI) Structured Assessment of Violence Risk for Youth (SAVRY)

Behavioral Health Screening

MAYSI-2 Training

NYSAP provides a customized 2 to 2.5 hour training on the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2). The MAYSI-2 provides scores on several mental health problems (including suicide risk) and identifies when a youth needs immediate attention by a mental health professional. The MAYSI-2 was originally developed by NYSAP professionals in 2000. Since then, the MAYSI-2 has become the most widely used mental health screening tool nationwide in juvenile justice settings. The training includes an overview of mental health disorders and considerations in adolescents, MAYSI administration and scoring, policies and procedures that will be used by your agency, second screening procedures, and how to respond to youth who ‘screen in’. For an overview of the MAYSI-2, go to our Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2) page.

Trauma-Related Screening

NYSAP provides training on administration and use of several validated screening tools designed to identify youth who have been exposed to significant trauma and may have serious trauma-related problems. These instruments include the Child Trauma Screen (CTS) and the Structured Trauma-related Experiences and Symptoms Screen (STRESS).

Training for Other Professionals

NYSAP offers a 1.5 hour orientation training to stakeholders and personnel in the juvenile justice system who may not be administering behavioral health screening tools but who will be making decisions based on them—such community child-mental-health providers, lawyers, and judges.

Mental Health Training for Juvenile Justice (MHT-JJ) is available as a 3-day train-the-trainer training or one-day direct practice training (has a virtual option). It was developed by and for juvenile probation, detention, and corrections staff to increase staff capacity to work with adolescents experiencing behavioral health conditions. From probation intake to secure corrections, juvenile justice staff persons are responsible for the day-to-day care of a large population of youth, many of whom are experiencing behavioral health conditions or traumatic stress reactions. Juvenile justice involvement can exacerbate a youth’s condition, creating a dangerous situation for both the youth and juvenile justice staff. The MHT-JJ increases knowledge of adolescent development, child trauma, and adolescent behavioral health conditions helps staff develop an understanding of how these issues may affect youth-staff interactions, and enhances skills that support effective and safe interactions between youth and staff.

For more information, contact

Juvenile Competence To Stand Trial

Clinician Eligibility Training

A two-day, comprehensive training for clinicians designed to prepare them to perform juvenile CST evaluations according to best-practice standards. Includes legal definitions, essential concepts, evaluation procedures and tools, interpretation of data, and report writing. NYSAP professionals have published two of the nation’s leading guides for performing juvenile CST evaluations:

Developmentally-Sensitive Interviewing

Half-day or one-day training designed to enhance clinicians’ skills in interviewing adolescents, using a perspective based on youths’ cognitive, psychological and social development across the adolescent age span. This training is particularly helpful for clinicians transitioning from adult CST evaluations to juvenile work, as well as for systems with statutes that require developmental sensitivity. This training can be tailored and delivered live to particular jurisdictions, agencies and audiences. Alternatively, an on-demand version of this training can be accessed at: Conceptualizing and Applying Developmental Immaturity in Juvenile Competence Evaluations.

How to use the JACI

The Juvenile Adjudicative Competence Interview (JACI) currently is the only published, structured assessment tool developed specifically for juvenile CST evaluations. This half-day training provides clinicians knowledge and experience for administering and interpreting it. The JACI was developed by NYSAP professionals and is used nationwide. This training can be tailored and delivered live to particular jurisdictions, agencies and audiences. Alternatively, an on-demand version of this training can be accessed at: Developmentally Sensitive Competence Interviewing Using the JACI.

Key Differences Between Juvenile Competency and Adult Competency Evaluations

In recent years, many U.S. jurisdictions have enacted statutory guidance around the conducting of competency evaluations for juvenile court cases. Evaluators with a history of conducting competency evaluations in criminal court cases may be required, recruited, or asked to assist with competency evaluations of juveniles. However, there are critical differences between these two tasks. This training reviews the types of questions, data, and analyses uniquely necessary when conducting juvenile competency evaluations as opposed to competency evaluations of adults. Grisso’s (1986) Five Question Model for conducting competency evaluations is used to structure the discussion. Within each question, participants are introduced to the ways that differences between adolescents and adults, as well as the unique procedures of the juvenile justice context, will impact what must be considered. This training is ideal for clinicians who conduct adult competency evaluations and want an overview of the differences in consideration of beginning to conduct juvenile competency evaluations. Alternatively, an on-demand version of this training can be accessed at: Key Differences Between Juvenile Competency and Adult Competency Evaluations

The Five Question Model to Conducting Juvenile Competency Evaluations

Evaluation quality is enhanced when a conceptual model is used that guides data gathering, data interpretation, and the communication of findings in a manner consistent with scientific, empirical, and ethical standards. The most widely accepted model for guiding evaluations of competence to stand trial was offered by Thomas Grisso in 1986 and was applied to juvenile competence evaluations in 2005. The model lays out Functional, Causal, Contextual, Conclusory, and Remediation questions that, when considered and opined upon by evaluators in a systematic manner, yield an effective and informative evaluation and a report that can assist the court. In this program, each of the questions are explained, relevant research and forensic concepts are offered, and the process of forming opinions within each question is modeled so that participants can apply it to their evaluations. Alternatively, an on-demand version of this training can be accessed at: The Five Question Model to Conducting Juvenile Competency Evaluations

Case Conceptualization in Juvenile Competency Evaluations

The value of an evaluation model is best appreciated through its applied use. This training focuses on applying Grisso’s (2005) Five-Question Juvenile Competence Evaluation Model to a sample juvenile competence case. Evaluation materials for the case are distributed in a manner that parallels a typical evaluation process in many settings, progressing from the initial referral through collateral information gathering and interviewing of the youth and participants work through the model to reach opinions that are relevant and helpful to the court. Alternatively, an on-demand version of this training can be accessed at: Case Conceptualization in Juvenile Competency Evaluations

Clinician Advanced Topics

Half-day trainings exploring a specific issue in juvenile CST evaluations in greater depth. Examples might include in-depth examination of more complex topics (e.g., evaluating rational appreciation; autism spectrum disorders and juvenile CST, etc.), updates on relevant research to guide evaluations, or specific guidance on report writing or court testimony in juvenile CST evaluations.

Juvenile CST for Lawyers/Judges

2 to 3-hour trainings designed to allow lawyers and judges to better understand, use and critique clinicians’ juvenile CST evaluations. Includes their legal relevance, requisite clinician expertise, developmental relevance, best evaluation procedures, and appropriate and inappropriate interpretations.

Publications on this topic by NYSAP professionals:

Juvenile CST for Stakeholders

2 to 3-hour trainings for juvenile justice personnel and community child-mental-health providers to help them better understand juvenile CST and its relevance for their work with youths. For a stakeholder’s general overview of juvenile CST, see Adolescent Legal Competence in Court (2013).

Risk-Needs Assessment and Case Planning

Stakeholder Orientation Training

NYSAP can provide a 45 minute to 1.5 hour orientation for stakeholder groups (including probation officers and related staff, judges, attorneys, service providers, and administrators) that covers the research evidence for risk-needs assessment and risk-need-responsivity, strategies for implementing this process with success, and facilitators and barriers to implementation.

Risk-Needs Assessment Training

NYSAP provides 2-day workshops for end users about how to administer specific risk-needs assessment instruments. Each workshop covers the following content: adolescent development and its association with trajectories of offending, research support for the instrument, risk-need responsivity, the agency’s policies for administration and use of the instrument, interviewing, scoring procedures and practice cases. In addition, NYSAP uses post-training practice cases to assess each end user’s proficiency on the instrument. NYSAP provides these workshops for the following:

Case Planning Training

NYSAP provides a 1.5 day training for end users about how to conduct case planning after working with agencies to customize their case plan template to be consistent with their risk-needs assessment, risk-need-responsivity (linking case plans to their risk-needs assessment), and best practices in juvenile justice (e.g., family engagement). In addition, NYSAP uses post-training practice cases to assess each end user’s proficiency on in case planning and linking the case planning to the assessment.

Interviewing Procedures

NYSAP provides a 2 to 2.5-hour training for risk-needs assessment end users in interviewing strategies for youth and their caregivers. The training includes skills for being a good interviewer, including how to create an atmosphere for gathering information and for being a good interviewer. This includes how to interview individuals remotely and role-playing to improve skill level in the interviewing process.

Train the Trainer Options

NYSAP works with agencies to a) select agency trainers, and b) develop the best train the trainer strategy for the agency (e.g., after training trainers observe them conducting live trainings with staff, set up a remote training option where the staff trainer trains NYSAP consultants). NYSAP trains these advanced staff persons in how to train on both the specific risk-needs assessment instrument (if it is the YLS/CMI or SAVRY) and in case planning.

Supervisor Training

NYSAP provides a 3 to 3.5 hour training for supervisors of end-users of risk-needs assessment and case planning. The training includes developing strategies for effective quality assurance and continuous quality improvement by supervisors. This includes what to look for when evaluating whether the end users are completing the assessment with fidelity and proficiency and whether they are developing and utilizing case plans in a meaningful way. Developing a booster training framework, along with a coaching model will be discussed.