Casey Life Skills Assessment – Youth Form Popular

This measure consists of 113 items that assess skills, knowledge, and awareness in seven areas (Daily Living, Self Care, Relationships and Communication, Housing and Money Management, Relationships and Communication, Career and Education Planning, and Looking Forward). The CLS-Youth was created specifically for adolescents and young adults living in foster care, but can be useful for other populations (including those involved in juvenile justice facilities, employment centers, homeless shelters, and other social service providers).  Additionally, the measure was created with the goal of making it as free from gender, ethnic, and cultural biases as possible.  This measure is intended to be used with adolescents and young adults ages 14 to 21.  Practitioners should allow 30-40 minutes for a respondent to complete the entire measure.  However, having respondents complete one area at a time is also appropriate.  Both web-based and paper and pencil versions of this measure are available. 

The CLS-Youth can be used in its entirety as a measure of progress over long time intervals.  Additionally, individual areas on the measure may be used alone as a post-assessment after a period of working on improving specific skills or as a repeated measure to assess progress in that area over time.  The amount of time that should be allowed between assessments to gauge progress can vary depending on the adolescent’s or young adult’s needs, the service provider’s IL program requirements, and a jurisdiction’s compliance requirements; monthly, quarterly, or annual assessments may be appropriate for each individual set of circumstances.

However, when comparing scores from multiple completions of the assessment, one should keep in mind that the presence of lower scores on the present assessment than on previous one does not necessarily indicate a loss of skills, but can happen for a variety of reasons (including overconfidence, expectations about the way they felt they should answer, and guessing when completing the previous assessment). When comparing the scores, practitioners should focus first on positive changes and the biggest improvements the respondent has made.  They can discuss with the respondent why scores in each area have changed or not changed and whether the respondent feels more or less confident in these areas. 


Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Nollan, K. A., Horn, M., Downs, A. C., Pecora, P. J., & Bressani, R. V. (2002). Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (ACLSA) and Lifeskills Guidebook Manual. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs.
Scoring / Benchmarking
Scores can be assigned for each of seven areas: Daily Living, Self Care, Relationships and Communication, Housing and Money Management, Relationships and Communication, Career and Education Planning, and Looking Forward. Each area reports an average score between 1 and 5, with 5 representing mastery of the skills in an area. Benchmarks for the original Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment tool were developed (Casey et al., 2010), however they have yet to be developed for this version of the tool.
Background / Quality
Information about the quality of this tool is not yet available. However, the original version of this tool (the Ansell-Casey Life Skills Assessment (for caregivers and for youth) has been found to have strong psychometric properties: Cronbach’s alpha for the full-scale assessment is reported as 0.97 for the youth version and 0.98 for the caregiver version (Casey et al., 2010)

Citation: Casey, K. J., Reid, R., Trout, A. L., Hurley, K. D., Chmelka, M. B., & Thompson, R. (2010, October). The transition status of youth departing residential care. In Child & Youth Care Forum (Vol. 39, No. 5, pp. 323-340). Springer US.
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