Prof. dr. Jessica Asscher

Clinical Child and Family Studies
Head of Department
Clinical Child and Family Studies

‘It is a moral imperative to develop effective interventions to improve child safety and reduce delinquent behavior among young people. Society is obliged to offer all children and juveniles the opportunity to develop into well-functioning adults.’

Jessica Asscher is professor of Forensic Child and Youth Care Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Asscher is involved in the Stress Less project from the Equal Opportunities for a Diverse Youth program of the National Science Agenda. It investigates whether the connection between education and youth care can be strengthened with low-threshold interventions for problems that (may) affect all school pupils.

As a project leader, Asscher is involved in various research projects that focus on the effectiveness of forensic youth care. This includes a large effect study into Forensic Ambulant Systemic Therapy (FAST), Family Group Conferences in youth protection services, an effect study into the aftercare program New Perspectives upon Return for delinquents aged 16 to 23, and effectiveness research into interventions for juvenile delinquents, such as New Perspectives, Multisystemic therapy and Tools4U skills training for juvenile delinquents. Recently she completed a large international comparative study into the effectiveness of sentences for perpetrators of very serious violent and/or sexual offences.

At Utrecht University, Asscher is involved in the Pedagogical Sciences program and teaches the courses Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Protection Services,and Judicial Interventions, all part of the minor track juvenile delinquency and youth protection services.
She is also a member of the Recognition Committee for Youth Interventions, for years, she was a member of the Supervisory Board for Youth Protection in the Amsterdam Region (2013- 2021) and Recognition Committee Judicial Interventions (2015-2022). She participates in various advisory councils and advisory boards.

Asscher studied Psychology at Leiden University and obtained her master's degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology cum laude. She fulfilled her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on an evaluation of the Home-Start parenting support program.

Forensic Child and Youth Care Sciences
Inaugural lecture date