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The R-PACT: Residential – Positive Achievement Change Tool
The R-PACT (Residential Positive Achievement Change Tool) Full Assessment is a 12
domain, multiple choice, in-depth assessment instrument, which produces relevant
information that assists with the unique needs of a residential setting, primary
among them: developing intervention strategies utilizing evidenced based practices
that will address each youth's criminogenic needs. This tool is designed as a semi-structured
Following the success of the 2005 collaboration between Assessments.com and the
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to implement the original (community) PACT,
in 2007, Florida DJJ again chose Assessments.com, this time to design, develop,
and support the implementation of a residential version of the evidence-based risk
and needs assessment already in use through the state: the PACT. The goal was to
make the new version of the PACT sensitive to the immediate treatment needs and
behavioral gains of youth placed in residential facilities.
The R-PACT measures a youth's risk and protective factors in the following 12 domains
with additional sub-sections: Criminal History, School, Use of Free Time, Employment,
Relationships, Family, Living Arrangements, Alcohol and Drugs, Mental Health, Attitudes/Behaviors,
Aggression, and Skills.
The R-PACT identifies not only the areas (domains) in which the juvenile is most
at risk, but just as importantly, those in which he or she has strengths (protective
factors) which can be built upon to help turn the youth's life around. Risk and
protective factors in this instrument include both static and dynamic characteristics.
The benefit of measuring both types of factors and characteristics is especially
relevant in a residential setting, where the treatment of a juvenile's specific
characteristics is a day-to-day effort. In short, the R-PACT's investment in multiple-factor
information gathering allows for the most comprehensive and dynamic on-going measurement
of a juvenile's progress in a residential setting.
The R-PACT may be used by non-clinical staff in any sort of residential setting.
The instrument is administered in a client interview setting and requires approximately
45 minutes. As implemented in Florida and other locations, the R-PACT can also interface
seamlessly with any local automated case-planning functionality used by the agency.
To be used effectively, the R-PACT needs to be administered by a person who has
received at least two days of training on risk assessment theory, case planning
and the technique of motivational interviewing.
The R-PACT provides a wealth of information on both the individual and aggregate
levels. Reassessments and post-tests inform staff of the youth's improvements on
addressing criminogenic factors indicative of future criminality. Not only does
the implementation of the R-PACT inform policy makers about how effective their
programs are, it also provides reliable evidence upon which to judge whether an
agency is truly and positively affecting the life of the child and his or her family.
Notes: by Robert Barnoski, Ph.D. / Allvest Information Services, Inc.