The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY) is the first derived version of its reference, the ICF.

The development of ICF-CY originates from the need to describe the functioning of children and youth in correspondence with ICF. The ICF-CY offers especially more extended points of departure and greater detail for a better description of the growth and development of children and youth. Drawing on the guidelines in Annex 8 of ICF, the version for children and youth is consistent with the organization and structure of the main volume. Differences with ICF took the form of modifying or expanding descriptions, assigning new content to unused codes, modifying inclusion and exclusion criteria, and expanding qualifiers to include developmental aspects.

The original introductory and annexes of ICF are incorporated in ICF-CY. With respect to content, ICF-CY is among other things based upon a number of international conventions and declarations on behalf of the rights of children, such as the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child 1989. The age range, covered by ICF-CY, runs accordingly from birth to the age of 18, paralleling the age range of other U.N. conventions.

Thus ICF-CY is a classification by which the functioning of children and youth can be described in detail from different perspectives, such as body functions, anatomical characteristics, activities and participation. ICF-CY also contains a classification of external factors, the immediate and wider environment of a child. ICF-CY is especially extended with learning and playing aspects and the developmental process. A number of questionnaires for application of ICF-CY are developed for four age groups:

  • 0 - 2
  • 3 - 6
  • 7 - 12
  • 13 - 17

Allready in 2002, WHO installed an international Work Group for the development of a version of ICF for 'Children and Youth', currently consisting of the following members: