When To Ask Questions

Use screening questions when you are doing a routine intake assessment of a child or adolescent. Many mandated reporters feel uncomfortable asking screening questions about child abuse. However, many children who are being abused or neglected do not show any indicators. Increasingly, professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics are encouraging professionals to use screening questions about abuse and neglect routinely in their intake procedures.

Use targeted questions when you see an indicator that could be the result of child abuse or neglect.

Regardless of whether you’re asking for routine screening or you see an indicator, always start with open-ended questions, and then ask closed-ended questions.

Screening questions for routine intake assessment

Targeted questions when you notice an indicator