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AZA2763: Child and youth assessment: Risk and protective factors, signs and symptoms

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Associate Professor Rika Swanzen


South Africa

  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.




In order to prevent the development of serious problems or possible problems in children, the child and youth care worker needs to be knowledgeable about the risk factors that can contribute to serious developmental delays or deviations. The early identification of symptoms of a disorder facilitates early treatment and accurate referral, increasing the chances of a successful outcome for the child. Since childcare workers spend a large quantity of hours with children they are in the ideal position to not only identify problems early through risk factors and symptoms, but also with highlighting the protective or resiliency factors that will assist the child in overcoming challenges successfully.


The objectives lie within five inter-related bands. These concern:

  1. factual information
  2. sources and resources
  3. conceptual definitions
  4. academic debates
  5. analytic communication skills.Upon successful completion of this unit, learners will be able to demonstrate knowledge of and familiarity with the following types of information, academic perspectives and skills:
    1. Understanding assessment in the context of child and youth care.
    2. Identification of the risk factors in the development of major childhood problems.
    3. Detection of symptoms of the most common childhood problems.
    4. Recognition of protective factors or resiliency in children and how to utilise this for the benefit of the child.
    5. Utilising the person-in-environment classification system to categorise childhood problems.
    6. Writing of assessment reports and giving feedback to caregivers.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Rika Swanzen

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Child and youth development – South Africa

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