Singapore University of Social Sciences

Introduction to and Assessment Framework for Youth Issues

Introduction to and Assessment Framework for Youth Issues (SWK363)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Social Services

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


In SWK102 Human Growth and Lifespan Development, the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development of adolescents was discussed extensively in a bid to understand the developmental process of adolescents. However, McWhirter etal. (2014) uses the term “at risk” to describe youths whose potential for becoming responsible and productive adults to be limited by the challenges within the ecology of their lives. As the society evolves, it is imperative that social service professionals assess, formulate and intervene accurately youths who present different concerns, so as to achieve optimal effectiveness in working with youths at different levels of risks. As such, this course appraises the definition of the term “at-risk” and analyses the concerns of at-risk youths using the Ecological Model as a basis for assessment. It also examines the risk factors within the context of environmental factors and legal and ethical issues. Based on their understanding of adolescent development, course participants will also discuss the family and school issues that predispose, precipitate and perpetuate the problems of at-risk youths. Supplemented with online and classroom discussions and presentations in seminar groups, this course will also provide course participants with the opportunity to discuss the indicators that define the risk level of the youths.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Definition of at-risk and at-risk problems and issues
  • At-risk tree and the Ecological Model
  • The economy
  • Policy proposals and strategies to manage the risk
  • The Legal system
  • Ethical issues and practice
  • The family life cycle
  • The family system
  • Dysfunctional families: family problems versus problem families
  • Our educational system
  • The school climate
  • Skills characterising at-risk youths: 5 Cs of competency
  • Determining the youth’s commitment via the stages of change

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the concept of at-risk youths
  • Examine the use of the Ecological Model in assessing “at-risk” youths issues
  • Appraise the educational system and the school climate and their impact on at-risk youths
  • Apply ethical principles in working with at-risk youth
  • Assess the presenting issues of at-risk youths
  • Analyse the risk level of the at-risk youths through the use of the five areas of competencies of youths
Back to top
Back to top