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Screening Tools

The Indiana Behavioral Health Access for Youth program developed the list of recommended screening tools through consideration of cost and ease of use in the primary care setting. It is not an exhaustive list of all recommended socio-emotional and mental health screening or assessment tools. The listed screening tools are not diagnostic, but rather can assist in early identification of problematic behaviors and social emotional functioning that may indicate the need for further evaluation.


Questionnaires and Guidelines

Social-Emotional-2nd edition (ASQ:SE-2) – Parents complete the short, simple questionnaires at eight designated age intervals: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60 months.


  • Age:  0-5
  • Administered by: Parent
  • Cost: $295 for complete photocopiable kit
  • Additional Information: Available in Spanish. Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) approved tool

A 35 item questionnaire to screen for cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems. 

PSC & Y-PSC (Parent & Youth Report)

  • Age: 4-16
  • Administered by: Parent (page 2), Youth aged 11+ (page 3)
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information:  Available in over 25 languages and a pictorial version available in three languages

An item rating scale to detect at-risk behaviors and/or emotional problems.

GAPS- Younger Adolescent QuestionnaireGAPS- Middle, Older Adolescent Questionnaire

  • Age: 11-14, 15 – 21
  • Administered by: Youth
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) approved tool

A 25 item questionnaire to identify and assess changes in emotional and behavioral problems in children. The SDQ covers a broad range of emotional and behavioral issues and is designed to provide assessment of psychosocial functioning. Hand scoring information is available, however, the developers recommend using the online scoring system available through their website.


  • Age: 2-4, 4-10, 11-17, 18+
  • Administered by: Parent, Teacher, Youth (ages 11-16)
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Available in over 40 languages and in sign language; Follow up questionnaire also available

Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale –   Screen for inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, combined inattention and hyperactivity subtype, oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, anxiety or depressive symptoms.

 Vanderbilt – Parent version (English); Vanderbilt – Parent version (Spanish); Vanderbilt –Teacher version
  • Age: 6 +
  • Administered by: Parent, Teacher
  • Cost: None

Screen for Childhood Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) –  A 41-item questionnaire that can be used to identify children and adolescents who require further evaluation or treatment for anxiety disorders.  The tool does not identify OCD or trauma related anxiety. 

SCARED – Parent Version;   SCARED – Child Version

  • Age: 8-18
  • Administered by: Parent, Youth (6th grade reading level)
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Available in over 10 languages

Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) – A 44-item scale that assesses six domains of anxiety and the severity of symptoms.  The scale does not identify trauma related anxiety. 

SCAS – Preschool Scale;  Parent Version; Child Version

  • Age: 3-6, 7-18
  • Administered by: Parent, Youth (6th grade reading level)
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Available in over 30 languages

Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers Revised (M-CHAT-R) and (M-CHAT-R/F) –  A two-stage parent-report screening tool to assess risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first stage, the M-CHAT-R, can be administered and scored as part of a well-child care visit. The primary goal of the M-CHAT-R is to detect as many cases of ASD as possible. Therefore, not all children who score at risk will be diagnosed with ASD. If the child screens positive on the M-CHAT-R, the second stage is to select the failed Follow-Up items on the M-CHAT-R/F.


  • Age: 16-30 months
  • Administered by: Parent
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Available in over 30 languages

Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS2) –  Helps to identify children with autism and determine symptom severity through quantifiable ratings based on direct observation.  The CARS2 has three forms.  1) CARS2-ST, Standard Version Rating Booklet- for ages 2 – 5 and/or those with communication difficulties or below average IQ. 2) CARS2-HF, High Functioning Version Rating Booklet- for 6 years and older with IQ above 80. 3)  CARS2 –QPC, Questionnaire for Parents or Caregivers is an unscored scale that gathers information for use in ratings.


  • Administered by: Clinician (MA or PhD in psychology, OT or related field), Parent
  • Cost$214 for CARS-2 Kit with 25 Standard Version Rating Booklets (CARS2ST); 25 High Functioning Version Rating Booklets (CARS2HF); 25 Questionnaire s for Parents/ Caregivers(CARS2QPC); Manual

Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) –  A 20-item self-report screening tool to detect the presence of depressive symptoms.  Higher scores warrant further evaluation. 


  • Age: 6 – 17
  • Administered by: Youth, Parent
  • Cost: None

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) –  A 9-item self report tool to assess depression and includes additional questions on suicidality and adolescent dysthymia. The PHQ-9A has been validated for use with adolescents.  The PHQ-2 includes the first two questions of PHQ-9 and can be used to ……

PHQ-2 English; Spanish

PHQ-9A for adolescents – EnglishSpanish

  • Age: 13 – 18
  • Administered by: Youth
  • Cost: None with permission

In addition to the following recommended tools below, Illinois DocAssist has a free webinar available to educate providers and clinicians on motivational interviewing and pediatric substance misuse.

CRAFFT: Car, Relax, Alone, Forget, Friends, Trouble –  CRAFFT can be self-administered or used as a questionnaire with the provider/clinician to screen for substance use disorders.


  • Age: 14+
  • Administered by: Self or Clinical Staff
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information: Available in 19 languages; Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) approved tool.

Screening to Brief Intervention (S2BI) – Online tool that asks a single frequency question for past year’s use of the three substances most commonly used by adolescents. For each substance, responses can be categorized into levels of risk. Each risk level maps onto suggested clinical actions summarized on the results screen.


  • Age: 12+
  • Administered by: Clinical Staff
  • Cost: None

Life Events Checklist (LEC-5) – Self-report measure designed to screen for potentially traumatic events in a respondent’s lifetime. The assessment included 16 events known to potentially result in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  The newest version, LEC-5 has minimal differences from the original LEC and few psychometric differences are expected.  The self-report measure gathers information about traumatic experiences and does not have a formal scoring protocol.


  • Age: 9-17
  • Administered by: Youth
  • Cost: None

The Children’s Revised Impact of Events Scale (CRIES 13) – A brief 13-item child-friendly measure designed to screen children at risk for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


  • Age: 8+ who are able to read independently
  • Administered by: Youth
  • Cost: None
  • Additional Information:  Available in English and 25 additional languages at the Children & War Foundation website.  (Link to Measures page under downloads)

The Child Stress Disorders Checklist-Short Form (CSDC-SF)– A four item tool to assess stress reactions in injured children.  The tool is easy to use and does not require specialized training in administration or interpretation.  The tool helps identify youth at risk for traumatic stress reactions.


  • Age: 6+
  • Administered by: Parent
  • Cost: None