Judges, lawyers and probation officers working within the youth justice system typically refer youth to the clinic under Section 34 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Once a referral is received, a staff person is assigned to coordinate work with the client.
The assessment will begin by gathering information about the youth, his or her family, and any court-related issues. The assessment also involves interviews with the client and their parents/caregivers, questionnaire completion and gathering information from other involved professionals. The objective of the assessment is to understand the client’s situation, history and factors that might protect them from further antisocial behaviour or put them at risk for other problems.
The assessment reports typically include mental health assessments, cognitive and academic assessments, and assessments focused on issues related to a youth’s criminal behaviour. The assessment reports also provide the court with concrete treatment plans and specific regional resources in order to best meet the varied needs of the youth.