WHO WE ARE
The YAP Pre-Screen – or YAPPS – is made up of 8 demographic components and 22 mandatory questions. Some of them contain secondary questions that may or may not be mandatory depending upon initial responses. The demographics and the questions all contribute to some automatically calculated scoring for two specific categories.
- Risk for Long Term Homelessness
The YAPPS serves a couple of key purposes. First, it provides a brief method to quickly assess youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and assist in making an initial determination of what level of services and supports would be most appropriate for that youth. The Risk for Long Term Homelessness acts as thermometer for initial Housing First for Youth considerations and the Prioritization category helps to begin the framework around how quickly these youth should be referred in comparison to other youth that are being assessed around that same timeframe.
Secondly, it allows the assessor to quickly get to know that youth and begin building a relationship of trust while not taking too much time. Youth are often hesitant about sharing parts of their story, let alone in an initial contact spending an hour sharing with people they do not know. This concept was made further evident by the feedback from the Alberta testing phase.
Strength Based Interview –
Purposeful NOT Prescriptive
The Strength Based Interview portion of the YAP – or YAPRS – contains 45 additional question sections deriving answers that provide added insight and information useful in the final referral and recommendation process. The term “question sections” means that there is not prescriptive wording for each question. Instead, we have provided a description of what the assessor is looking for in that section. This allows for personalization of the questions, additional probing if necessary, and helps to promote the idea that many questions can be asked in many ways. However, as much as possible, they should be kept to open ended questions.
The primary purpose of the YAPRS is to facilitate a conversational, person-centred, caring interview approach to gathering additional information about the youth, including the addition of specifically identified strengths and risk factors that may not even be known by that youth. The versatility in the interview process allows for a more safe and reciprocal exchange of information and trust. This begins the process of trusting relationships throughout not only the assessment but the entire journey for that youth within the system of care they have now entered.
Lastly, the purpose of the YAPRS is to finalize the calculations of the Risk for Long Term Homelessness and Prioritization scores. At this point, generally those completing this interview are those deemed in need of supports beyond basic referrals and direction. Therefore, it is important to have a continuing temperature check regarding where these youth compare with other youth. The interview also allows for a much greater level of insight regarding the types of supports and services that would be beneficial and the most appropriate referrals. It also allows the youth to see that they are going to have a role, the lead role in what happens with them next.
At the conclusion of the assessment, there should full array of information, scoring, and personal assessor insight that can be used to provide inform a final narrative summary describing and providing rationale for, purposeful, and youth-centred referrals to appropriate supports and services.
Here is a link to a recent webinar on the YAP Tool hosted by A Way Home Canada with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tWVawRwZ18&feature=youtu.be
Additional background and information can be found here: http://homelesshub.ca/blog/yap-tool