Providing effective case planning and treatment for families who become involved with child welfare because of an allegation of child abuse or neglect is critical. This practice requires child welfare professionals to be aware of the child’s history, including the child’s experiences with trauma, during the screening and assessment process. Screening for trauma, especially regarding how that trauma affects the child’s functioning, is essential in determining overall well-being. Child protection agencies should integrate trauma screening instruments into their practice and select the right tools to meet a family’s needs. This page provides information on tools, instruments, and measures of assessment used for trauma screening in child welfare during child protection investigations.
Child Measures of Trauma and PTSD
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Provides a list of child and adolescent trauma and PTSD measures, including a brief description, sample items, versions, and references.
Child Trauma Screen
Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut
Offers a child trauma screening measure that can be used by intake staff, child welfare workers, and others.
Screening and Assessment for Trauma in Child Welfare Settings
National Child Traumatic Stress Network Learning Center
Offers a training series on screening and assessment for trauma in child welfare and reviews tools and measures for screening and assessment.
Screening for Trauma Symptoms in Child Welfare-Involved Young Children: Findings From a Statewide Trauma-Informed Care Initiative (PDF - 497 KB)
Fraser, Noroña, Bartlett, Zhang, Spinazzola, Griffin, Montagna, et al. (2018)
Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 12
Explores trauma screenings for infants and toddlers involved with child protective services who have been exposed to multiple potentially traumatic experiences. The study examines differences in trauma detection using two screenings, the Young Child PTSD Screen and the Child Behavior Checklist PTSD Scale.
Trauma-Based Screenings and Assessments (PDF - 281 KB)
Behavioral Health Alliance of Rural Pennsylvania (2016)
Presents information on screening and assessing for child trauma in child welfare, discusses how to best select a tool, and lists trauma screening instruments.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Explains the purpose of trauma screening for children involved with the child welfare system and describes types of trauma screening tools.