Clearinghouse Resource


Screening and Assessing Immigrant and Refugee Youth in School-Based Mental Health Programs


Birman, Dina
Chan, Wing Yi


Washington, DC: Center for Health and Health Care in Schools

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

May 2008, 25 pages

Description of Resource

Presents an overview of mental health screening, identification, and assessment tools and processes for use by school-based practitioners who focus on immigrant and refugee youth. Since ten percent of the American student population consists of immigrants, counselors need to be sensitive to the potential for various mental health stressors -- migration and acculturation issues, pre-immigration trauma, and under-identification of mental health needs. Four sections address the process and surrounding issues of using cost-effective, school-based mental health services: (1) the benefits of selective versus universal screening and the challenges of obtaining parental consent: (2) the efficacy and effectiveness of various screening tools and the unique language challenges in administering these tools to non-English speakers; (3) broad, targeted, and selected screening measures; and (4) the assessment process initiated once the screening is complete and cautions to practitioners to use a comprehensiveteam approach before assigning a diagnosis or recommending special services or treatment.