Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH) and Adolescent Supplement

Pediatric tools compatible with the existing adult suite of interRAI instrument systems are in various stages of maturity.  Some child/youth instruments are in use, others are being piloted, and new instruments are in development. These child/youth tools provide an integrated health information system covering multiple sectors and age groups.  Like their adult counterparts, they have been developed in collaboration with individuals with clinical expertise in the specific populations being assessed.  Core tools in this suite assess social, psychiatric, environmental, and medical issues, child/youth functioning, strengths and resilience, as well as family-based factors, to develop a comprehensive evaluation of needs. To support optimal service delivery, these tools are accompanied by evidence-informed Collaborative Action Plans that indicate the presence of imminent risk and provide recommendations for further clinical review and intervention.

Each instrument contributes to the integrated nature of the interRAI child/youth suite through:

  • Use of the same technical approach underpinning all interRAI instruments (e.g., specified observation period, focus on observable behaviors, use of a few, powerful questions to assess areas of need, use of professional judgment to integrate multiple sources of information, and use of items to serve multiple applications for multiple audiences)
  • Provision of information to assist in wait-list reduction and provide outcome measurement
  • Capacity to allow children and youth to be followed across sectors and systems as they age
  • Early identification of needs leading to more responsive, coordinated service planning
  • More seamless transition into other service sectors and systems

Applications of data from the interRAI child/ youth suite include:

  • Collaborative Action Plans: Specific care planning guidelines, based on evidence-based practice, triggered by areas of risk identified through the assessment
  • Status and outcome measurement (e.g., scales related to cognitive performance, depression, anxiety, addictions, quality of life, disability)

Future applications will include:

  • Case-mix based funding
  • Quality improvement (e.g., multiple indicators of outcomes and processes of care) 


Comprehensive and multi-disciplinary interRAI child/youth suite tools currently include:

  • Child and Youth Mental Health (ChYMH): Assesses psychiatric, social, environmental, medical issues for children and youth between 4-18 years receiving community-based or inpatient/residential services.
  • Child and Youth Mental Health – Developmental Disabilities (ChYMH-DD): Assesses psychiatric, social, environmental, medical issues for children and youth between 4-20 years receiving community-based or inpatient/residential services, whose level of intellectual functioning is below 70 or where it is deemed more appropriate than the ChYMH based on clinical judgement.
  • Home Care Pediatrics (HC PEDS): The interRAI Home Care Pediatrics (HC-Peds) is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment system for children and youth from 4-20 years of age presenting with limitations in daily activities who may benefit from home care services. For more information contact Charles Phillips.
  • Adolescent Supplement: For youth 12-18 years (as well as younger children engaged in higher risk behaviors typical of adolescents) with mental health, intellectual and developmental needs who are receiving community-based or inpatient/residential services.

Child/ youth tools currently being piloted:

  •  Child/Youth Mental Health Screener: Supports decision-making related to triage, placement, and service utilization for children and youth between 4-18 years using a streamlined assessment. Key items identify severity of needs as well as the need for a full, comprehensive mental health assessment using the interRAI ChYMH.
  • Youth Justice Custodial Facilities (YJCF): Assesses functioning and needs of youth 12-18 who are serving a custodial sentence including mental health needs, risk of harm to others, and risk and protective factors related to recidivism.
  •  interRAI Education (EDU): A school-based assessment instrument for the comprehensive identification of difficulties observed in educational settings for children and youth 4-18 years. The EDU includes a focus on mental health issues as well as domains important to assess within the school context, such as learning difficulties, speech and language problems, academic risk areas, social difficulties (e.g., bullying and victimization), school engagement, developmental concerns (e. g., fine/gross motor), and strengths and resilience. 
  • Child/Youth Subjective Quality of Life (CYSQL): Assesses the subjective well-being and satisfaction of children/youth 7-18 years receiving inpatient or outpatient mental health services.

    Child/youth tools in development:

    • Emergency Department Screener: Intended to assist with triage and prioritization of children and youth (4-18 years) in emergency department settings.
    • Police Screener: Intended to enable police officers to identify children and youth in the community with mental health problems and to assist police in communicating their observations to appropriate health care professionals.
    • interRAI Family Quality of Life: Intended to assess the subjective well-being, satisfaction and family functioning of the family members for children/youth receiving mental health services. It will also assess the family’s view of services received.
    • 0-3 Years Instrument: Intended to provide comprehensive assessment of high-risk infant/toddler/preschooler or family needs.
    • Addictions Supplement: Assesses the need of children and youth who experience persistent use of substances, tobacco, gambling and video gaming.
    • Physical Disabilities Supplement: Assesses needs in areas affected by a wide spectrum of physical disabilities.
    • Youth Justice Supplement: Assesses historical information, needs, functioning and social relations for youth (12-18 years) involved in criminal activity and receiving community-based services.

    For more information on the Child/Youth suite, please contact Shannon Stewart.