Seven things you need to know about the FACE Child & Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

We asked Oliver Brown to answer some frequently asked questions about the FACE Child & Adolescent Risk Assessment Suite (CARAS).

1. What forms and tools are included?

The FACE CARAS includes:

  • The FACE Young Person’s Risk Profile (an ‘all-in-one’ tool for holistic risk assessment, risk formulation and recording risk management, crisis and contingency plans)
  • A series of focused risk schedules which can optionally be used to explore specific areas highlighted by the Risk Profile in more detail
  • Brief risk assessment tools for use on wards (open and secure)
  • New for Version 2 – a brief A&E and general hospital risk assessment

2. What specialist risk areas does it cover?

The FACE CARAS includes a series of seven focused risk schedules for exploration of specific areas highlighted as a risk during screening. These are as follows:

  • Aggression Risk
  • Aggression in Psychosis Risk
  • Self-harm/Suicide Risk
  • Eating Disorder Risk
  • Sexual Harm Risk
  • Vulnerability Risk
  • Learning Disability Vulnerability Risk

3. What type of questions are included in the templates?

The FACE CARAS makes use of a mixture of drop-down or checkbox type questions and free text/narrative-based questions.

This allows for a person-centred approach whilst enabling efficiencies in form completion and allowing for subsequent data analysis.

4. Is it evidence-based?

Yes, at Imosphere we have a long history of developing tools using evidence-based methodologies whilst using co-production to ensure the tools work well in practice for all involved.

The FACE CARAS went through a rigorous process of analysis and testing during its initial development between 2011 and 2015, including review by focus groups and extensive piloting. Two papers were produced during this process which are available here:

A novel CAMHS risk assessment system: clinicians’ views.

Innovations in Practice: Piloting a new child and adolescent risk assessment suite in the UK.

5. What does the risk assessment process involve when using the CARAS?

The FACE CARAS saves practitioners time by ensuring that they only focus on in-depth assessment where there is an identified level of risk. Risk assessment using the FACE CARAS uses the following workflow:

  • STEP 1: Practitioner completes the first part of the FACE Young Person’s Risk Profile as a ‘screening’ step. This indicates which risk area(s) need further consideration.
  • STEP 2: Practitioner completes any relevant Focused Schedules relating to the area(s) indicated at the screening stage. This allows for more specific exploration of the relevant areas only.
  • STEP 3: Practitioner completes the remainder of the FACE Young Person’s Risk Profile. This includes risk formulation, positive risk taking and recording of risk management, crisis and contingency plans.

6. What training is available?

At Imosphere, we passionately believe that the right training is essential to equip health and social care practitioners with the right skills to undertake robust and high-quality risk assessments. We therefore provide a wide range of training courses (both on-site and via video conference) through our network of experienced subject matter experts.

Details of our courses can be found on our risk assessment training page.

7. In which formats is it available?

The FACE CARAS can be used via our lightweight and flexible Digital Risk Management platform, which features all of our risk tools for both young people and adults. It’s purposely designed for quick and easy online completion and offers an ‘Export to PDF’ feature where needed.

Alternatively, you can build the FACE CARAS into your own local system if it supports digital forms, or use our MS Word templates if not.


Find out more and request a sample on our FACE CARAS page.