Social Science Screening and

Discussion: Screening and Assessment Tools

What is important to know and when is it important to know it? To intervene in a problem, a social worker must first identify the problem. Screening and initial assessment can be useful to identity individuals who may be experiencing mental health concerns and could benefit from seeing a clinical social worker. This then would lead to a more comprehensive assessment from which a treatment plan is built. However, deciding who to assess, when, and using which tools can feel like a confusing process. For example, should you provide depression screenings in the community to people who are not clients? Should you screen all new clients for substance abuse regardless of presenting problem? Should you ask about suicide in every session or only when it feels like it could be a concern?

For this Discussion, review the following resources and consider the different screening and assessment tools currently available. Identify the tools you think you would be most likely to use in your practice.

American Psychiatric Association. (2018). Online assessment measures. Retrieved from…

Beidas, R. S., Stewart, R. E., Walsh, L., Lucas, S., Downey, M. M., Jackson, K., … & Mandell, D. S. (2015). Free, brief, and validated: Standardized instruments for low-resource mental health settings. Cognitive and behavioral practice, 22(1), 5-19. Retrieved from… 

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). Screening tools and prevention. Retrieved from… 

By Day 3

Post which screening and/or assessment tool(s) you would use in your practice. Explain why you identified the specific instrument(s) given the type of practice and client population with whom you would like to work. Explain how and when you would use the tool(s). Explain how you would use the information gathered from the tool in a session.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two colleagues who recommended a different screening/assessment practice and provide feedback.

Colleague 1:Kristine Bush 

RE: Discussion – Week 5


I have chosen two screening tools that I feel would benefit the population I would like to serve at the end of my schooling. I found the Screening to Brief Intervention, or S2BI, for youths age twelve to seventeen to be a great tool. I went through the questions, answering randomly as if I had an alcohol problem, and at the end there were suggestions on how best to move forward with helping the youth. When I responded to the questions positively for alcohol, there were suggestions to assess further with the CRAFFT assessment tool to guide making a diagnosis with the DSM-5 to learn more about how to help with intervention planning (NIDA, 2019). The CRAFFT tool is a more in-depth tool for the assessing of youths.

The adult assessment tool I chose is TAPS-1 & 2. TAPS stands for Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription medications, and Other substances. When I went through this questionnaire for adults surrounding an alcohol problem, I was directed to other assessment tools to use that will help assess the depth of the problem, and suggests the right treatment for them.

Both of these tools are a gradient style questionnaire, that open the door for conversations about the responses given, shedding a little more light on the problems that they are having. Each question gives choices such as: daily or almost daily, weekly, monthly, less than monthly, or never. Allowing for the client to divulge without specifics how often they use so that they do not feel like they are being judged.

I chose these tools because alcohol and substance addiction are big problems in youths in my area, with overdosing suicides becoming more common. These tools will help to guide me in how to best help them get them help they need and deserve. I would introduce these tools at the onset of our relationship. I would use some self-assessment tools to see where they are at the time of the visit as well as the clinical guidance, motivational interviewing technique to obtain as much information as I can from the start. If I gather as much as possible in the beginning, I will be able to better help create the intervention plan that will best serve the client.

At the end of the session, I would use the tools to make concise notes on how the session went, what was learned and the steps that were agreed for the treatment plan. They will be used to further my research into the proper tools that will assist me in helping my community shed the drug and alcohol problem that we seem to have. Assessment is such an important aspect of social work, and helps us to learn the story of our clients and how best we can help them. Ensuring we have the right assessment tools is only the foundation the relationship is built on.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (2019). Screening tools and prevention. Retrieved from https://www,

Colleague 2: Tachelle Landin 

RE: Discussion – Week 5


Which screening and/or assessment tool(s) I would use in my practice.  

We know that as social workers, in order to provide an effective evidence-based intervention with adult clients, we must complete a thorough assessment on them (Holosko et al., 2013). We do this by administering certain tests to gain information about that client. Due to wanting to work with children that have been abused or neglected and their families, there are a multitude of assessment tools I would use. I would also use different assessment tools depending on the stages they come to me. Really good tools to find out how the parents and children are viewing themselves currently, I would use the DSM-5 Self-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure tool for adults, and Children, 6-17 and 11-17. Once I divulged further, many of these parents suffer from severe depression amongst other issues. I could use the Level 2 Depression Adult (Promis Emotional Distress, Depression Short Form) and Level 2 Anger, Parent/Guardian form for children 6-17. I could also use many assessment tools but for this discussion have narrowed it to Psychosocial Diagnostic Assessment, Cognitive-Behavior Assessment, and Life-Model Assessment.  

Explanation of why I identified the specific instrument(s) given the type of practice and client population with whom I would like to work. 

I chose to work with these instruments due to working with a population that has been abused and is in turn abusing their own children. Many of the parents I will be working with will have had many issues themselves, dealing with their own past traumas and untreated mental health such as depression. In using the DSM-5 Level one, I can give them a questionnaire to find out where their thinking is at the current time. This would also be the same for the children that I will service. They will be coming from broken homes, having been abused by their parent(s). Using the DSM-5 tool on them, will also see how not only the parent(s) are viewing them, but also, how they are viewing themselves. In doing this, I can get a gage as to what areas they need help in. In using the Psychosocial Diagnostic Assessment, it allows me to see how the parent and or child is viewing their environment and stressors and how they are coping with them (Holosko et al., 2013). In using Cognitive-Behavior Assessments, I can understand how the parent learned a certain behavior and thus, the child is now learning it. Finally, in using the Life-Model Assessment, I can see how the clients are interacting with the environment around them.  

Explanation of how and when I would use the tool(s). 

I would use my questionnaires upon every visit to gauge the progress the clients are making from when they first enter my practice until the completion of treatment. After going over their questionnaires, an assessment would be decided on and used during the treatment, often more than one would have to be incorporated.  

Explanation of how I would use the information gathered from the tool in a session. 

Once gaining information from the questionnaire, I would have a discussion with the client to address the issues that is problematic for them to gain further knowledge into why they are having these thoughts and feelings. The information will be used throughout the treatment, not just one time. The information and further clarification from the client will aid me into tailoring a treatment that is just for them, not a cookie cutter method that is expected to work for everyone.  


American Psychiatric Association. (2018). Online assessment measures. Retrieved from… 

Congress, E. (2013). Assessment of adults. In M. Holosko, C. Dulmus, & K. Sowers (Eds.), Social work practice with individuals and families: Evidence-informed assessments and interventions (pp. 125-145). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

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