The SAVRY is composed of 24 items in three risk domains (Historical Risk Factors, Social/Contextual Risk Factors, and Individual/Clinical Factors), drawn from existing research and the professional literature on adolescent development as well as on violence and aggression in youth. Each risk item has a three-level rating structure with specific rating guidelines (Low, Moderate, or High). In addition to the 24 risk factors, the SAVRY also includes six Protective Factor items that are rated as either Present or Absent.
The SAVRY is useful in the assessment of either male or female adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 years. It may be used by professionals in a variety of disciplines who conduct assessments and/or make intervention/supervision plans concerning violence risk in youth.
The SAVRY is not designed to be a formal test or scale; there are no assigned numerical values nor are there any specified cutoff scores. Based on the structured professional judgment (SPJ) model, the SAVRY helps assist in structuring an assessment so that the important factors will not be missed and, thus, will be emphasised when formulating a final professional judgment about a youth's level of risk.
- Systematic - the primary domains of known risk and protective factors are addressed, with clear operational definitions provided.
- Empirically Grounded - items are based on the best available research and guidelines for juvenile risk assessment practice.
- Developmentally Informed - risk and protective factors are based on their relationship to adolescents, not to children or adults.
- Treatment-Oriented - items have direct implications for treatment, including the consideration of dynamic factors that can be useful targets for intervention in risk reduction.
- Flexible - allows consideration of case-specific factors, along with those factors derived from research.
- Practical - time-efficiency of the instrument offers the evaluator essential information for a competent and complete assessment.