Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)

Explore the Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) to effectively assess trauma symptoms in children.

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What is PTSD?

Trauma is the emotional, psychological, and physical reactions to overwhelmingly stressful events. These distressing experiences may include abuse, natural disasters, accidents, or witnessing terrifying events. The effects of such experiences are profoundly magnified in children, who may struggle to understand or process the events fully.

When trauma reactions persist and disrupt daily life, they can lead to PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD in children might manifest through various symptoms, including nightmares, intense fear, irritability, depression, withdrawal from loved ones, and even physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches.

Children's PTSD is particularly concerning because it can interfere with their development and long-term well-being. Early recognition and treatment are vital, and therapy must be tailored to the child's age, trauma type, and individual needs. Child PTSD treatments often involve counseling, family support, medication, and various therapies designed to help children process their traumatic experiences and regain a sense of normalcy.

Understanding PTSD and its unique impact on children is essential for parents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and educators. Resources like our templates provide valuable information and support for managing this complex mental health disorder. Addressing PTSD in children alleviates immediate symptoms and ensures a stable, healthy future for them as they grow and develop.

Encouraging open communication, employing targeted therapy techniques, and nurturing resilience are all crucial elements in supporting a child who has experienced trauma. By recognizing and treating PTSD with compassion, understanding, and expert care, children can recover from these experiences and move towards a fulfilling and thriving future.

Printable Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen Ages 7-17 Years

Download this Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen Ages 7-17 Years to assess young clients.

How to use this version of the Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS):

The Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) is an assessment tool specifically designed to identify symptoms of trauma and PTSD in children and adolescents. This printable Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is a specialized version aimed at gathering information from caregivers to better understand the child's experiences.

Step 1: Identify the Need

Recognize the child's signs and symptoms of trauma or PTSD. Evaluate if the child falls within the age group of 7-17 years and consider whether the assessment should be administered.

Step 2: Select the Appropriate Version

Choose the printable Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) for an accurate assessment, considering the child's age and the most suitable informant, such as parents or other caregivers.

Step 3: Administer the Assessment

Provide the CATS assessment to the caregiver and instruct them on accurately responding to each question. Ensure they understand the questions and that their responses reflect the child's experiences.

Step 4: Score the Responses

Utilize the scoring guidelines in the CATS manual to interpret and analyze the caregiver's responses. This step is crucial in understanding the severity of the child's symptoms and the specific areas of concern.

Step 5: Develop a Treatment Plan

Collaborate with mental health professionals to develop a tailored treatment plan using the insights gathered from the assessment. The plan should address the child's unique needs, trauma type, and symptoms, utilizing appropriate therapeutic interventions.

By following these steps, the Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is an invaluable tool in diagnosing and treating children and adolescents dealing with trauma. It allows for a comprehensive understanding of the child's mental health and paves the way for targeted, effective care.

CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) Example

The CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is a thoughtfully designed tool specifically tailored for caregivers assessing trauma symptoms in children. This printable ATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) offers a user-friendly format, making it accessible for caregivers regardless of their familiarity with psychological assessments. This instrument facilitates a deeper understanding of the child's mental health by providing clear and concise questions that probe into the child's emotional and behavioral patterns. 

In addition to identifying potential signs of trauma, the CATS Screen empowers caregivers to foster enhanced communication between themselves, children, and healthcare professionals. This alignment ensures a more holistic and effective approach to trauma care, emphasizing the child's overall well-being.

Download this Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen Ages 7-17 Years Example:

CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) Example

When would you use this CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?

The CATS Screen: Caregiver Report (Ages 7–17) is a versatile and insightful tool designed to gauge the presence and intensity of trauma symptoms in children and adolescents. Here are some scenarios where this assessment may be applied to the following:

  1. Observable Signs of Distress: If a child is displaying noticeable signs of distress, anxiety, or behavioral changes, the CATS Screen can be a valuable first step in understanding what might be underlying those symptoms.

  2. Known Exposure to Traumatic Events: For children who have been exposed to traumatic events such as abuse, violence, natural disasters, or serious accidents, this tool helps in assessing the psychological impact and the need for professional intervention.

  3. Regular Mental Health Check-Ups: The CATS Screen is useful in crises and can be integrated into regular mental health check-ups to ensure the ongoing emotional well-being of a child.

  4. Professional Assessment: Healthcare professionals like therapists, counselors, psychologists, and social workers may use the CATS Screen: Caregiver Report (Ages 7–17) to diagnose or evaluate a child's mental state. This can guide them in creating appropriate treatment plans, adapting interventions, and engaging in collaborative care with families.

  5. School Settings: Educators and school counselors can also utilize this tool if there is a concern about a student's behavior or emotional state, helping them to take timely action in collaboration with parents and mental health professionals.

  6. Support for Caregivers: By engaging caregivers in the assessment process, the CATS Screen fosters an environment where parents and guardians feel empowered and involved in their child's mental health care.

The CATS Screen: Caregiver Report (Ages 7–17 years) fills a crucial role in child mental health care by offering an accessible, actionable way to understand a child's emotional state. Its flexibility and precision make it a suitable tool for diverse contexts and users, including healthcare professionals, educational institutions, and families, ensuring that children suffering from trauma receive the attention and support they need.

What are the benefits of using this CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?

The CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is a highly regarded assessment tool for identifying trauma symptoms in children. Here's an exploration of the multiple benefits of using this instrument, illustrating why it is a preferred choice for many professionals and caregivers.


The free CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is available to a wide range of users, making it an accessible tool for healthcare professionals, parents, and guardians who want to understand their child's emotional state.

Targeted Age Range

Designed specifically for children between the ages of 7 and 17, it allows for a focused understanding of trauma symptoms in this particular age group, enhancing the accuracy of the assessment.

Comprehensive Analysis

This assessment thoroughly examines the child's reactions to potentially traumatic events, addressing both observable behaviors and emotional responses, which helps form a well-rounded perspective.

Guidance for Treatment Planning

The insights gathered from the CATS Screen can significantly influence treatment planning. Healthcare providers can create personalized treatment strategies tailored to the child's needs by accurately pinpointing the trauma's nature and intensity.

Support for Caregivers

Empowering caregivers with the printable CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) encourages them to actively participate in their child's mental healthcare, fostering better communication and collaboration with professionals.

Research-Backed Effectiveness

Numerous studies, such as those cited in the Systematic Review of the Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen by Science Direct, have validated the efficacy of the CATS Screen, reinforcing its credibility as a dependable tool for assessing childhood trauma.

The CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand and address child and adolescent trauma. Its accessibility, specificity, comprehensive nature, supportive role in treatment planning, and research-backed effectiveness make it an integral component in child mental health care.

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Commonly asked questions

How long does it normally take to accomplish the CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?

The CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

How do you interpret the findings of the CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?

The findings are interpreted based on the provided scoring guidelines, with higher scores often indicating more severe symptoms.

When is the CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) used?

The CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years) is used when assessing trauma symptoms in children aged 7-17 or as part of a comprehensive mental health evaluation.

Who can use the CATS Screen - Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?

Healthcare professionals like therapists, psychologists, counselors, or caregivers with proper guidance can use the CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years).

How long does it normally take to accomplish the CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?
How long does it normally take to accomplish the CATS Screen-Caregiver Report (Ages 7-17 years)?
Written by
Telita Montales
Telita Montales

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