Research for Evidence-based Practice

The Research for Evidence-based Practice (REP) team was jointly formed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and SSI to
  1. create and transfer knowledge on rehabilitation and protection topics and;
  2. build the research capabilities of SSI to complement its work as a training institute for the social services
The REP team plays a strategic role in efforts to build the sector’s research and programme evaluation capability. This includes the development of competency in the use of Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI). The team is focused on the following four pillars, using an example of CANS and YLS/CMI below.
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Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory 

The Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) is a checklist that offers a detailed survey of the risk and need factors of youths to provide crucial links for the development of personalised case plans that may be continually reviewed and updated. In Singapore, this tool is particularly relevant to at-risk youths and youth offenders.

Benefits of YLS/CMI

With Singapore’s criminal justice system emphasising the importance of community-based rehabilitation since the early 2000s, the need to move towards actuarial and standardised approaches in offender risk assessments became apparent. As one of the most widely used and empirically supported risk-needs assessment tool, the YLS/CMI is instrumental in guiding disposition decisions and case planning of youth offenders. Extensive studies and research, including a series of retrospective and prospective studies, have been conducted to localise YLS/CMI for use in Singapore. 

Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths 

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) provides a detailed summary that allows for easier communication of the child’s/adolescent’s needs and strengths across multidisciplinary teams. This will assist caseworkers in the development of personalised case plans that may be continually reviewed and updated. In Singapore, this tool is particularly relevant to the child protection sector.

Benefits of CANS

CANS was implemented in 2011, driven by the need for an empirically informed, standardised framework for the child protection and welfare sector. The framework has been widely used in the USA and Canada to support placement and funding decisions at agency and national levels. Research has been conducted to localise CANS for use in Singapore.

List of published studies:     


Click here to find out more about our research areas.