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PROTECTIVE FACTORS: helping children and young people, with challenging behaviour, better engage and participate in education.

lottery england logoSiarad Da has received funding from the Big Lottery to carry out a research project looking at ‘protective factors‘ in children and young people experiencing school exclusion due to violent or aggressive behaviour in the classroom.


Working in partnership with Cardiff and Swansea Universities and Dr Michiel de Vries Robbé of the Van der Hoeven Clinic (clinic for forensic psychiatry in the Netherlands), the project uses the tool SAPROF-YV (Structured Assessment of Protective Factors for violence risk – Youth Version).  


SAPROF-YV is used internationally in criminal justice and forensic psychiatry teams.  Studies using SAPROF-YV are taking place in several countries, including: America, Australia, Singapore and The Netherlands.  In England and Wales there are also studies being carried out by Youth Justice, CAMHS and Universities.  The tool is regularly used in CAMHS and by YOS working with young people with challenging and harmful behaviour.


This project will, for the first time, use SAPROF-YV in education; specifically with Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) provision.


The co-author of the tool, Dr Michiel de Vries Robbé, worked with Dr April May Kitchener in the planning of this innovative study.  The study aims to introduce SAPROF-YV as a tool to help identify interventions to help support children and young people who have been excluded from mainstream school to better engage with education.


SAPROF-YV Protective Factors
  • Resilience items: social competence / coping / self-control / perseverance
  • Motivational items: future orientation / motivation for treatment / attitude towards agreements and conditions / medication / school / leisure activities
  • Relational items: carers / peers / other supportive relationships
  • External items: pedagogical climate / professional care / court order

The 16 protective factors of the SAPROF-YV are all dynamic and have the ability to change as necessary. They focus on a child or young person’s strengths and positive development.  Including the SAPROF-YV protective factors in the planning process will stimulate positive management and support initiatives.




Risk Factors increase the likelihood that a young person will become violent. Risk factors, however, are not direct causes of youth violence; rather, risk factors contribute to youth violence.


 Protective Factors buffer young people from the risks of becoming violent. These factors exist at various levels.


Please contact us if you would like more information about this study


April May Kitchener


2 thoughts on “PROTECTIVE FACTORS: helping children and young people, with challenging behaviour, better engage and participate in education.”

  1. This looks focused at youth.

    Have you considered learning disabled offenders. There is a national drive to increase resorces and work by local health andd asc services at this vulnerable group.



    1. Thank you for this Liam. Your are correct this project only looked at children and young people but of course Protective Factors is lifelong. We aim to work with other groups in the future, come back to us if you would like to know more.

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