National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners

Home About UsTrainingOn-Demand Trainings Global Initiatives Publications News & Events Collaborators Contact Us
nysap logo

Behavioral Health Screening and Assessment

NYSAP Consultation and Training

Engaging adolescents in evidence-based screening for behavioral health needs at system-contact has become standard practice nationwide. System-contact includes a diverse array of settings including: diversion programs, juvenile probation, juvenile detention, and residential placements (e.g., non-secure and secure programs). Identifying young person’s behavioral health needs—mental health, substance use, trauma symptoms and related problems, and suicide ideation—is important at initial system contact. Behavioral health screening is the first step for identifying those adolescents who need immediate attention and further assessment for behavioral health needs.

NYSAP has the experience and expertise to assist you in selecting and putting in place behavioral health screening and assessment tools in juvenile diversion, probation, detention, and residential programs. We’ve been consulted by juvenile justice programs throughout the U.S. for 20 years. We know how to help you decide what’s best for you and the young people you work with. In addition, we have developed the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2), currently the most widely-used behavioral health screening tool in juvenile justice programs nationwide. Here are some of the types of consultation and training we offer.

Our Behavioral Health Screening Consultation Services:

NYSAP offers consultation on the full range of mental health, substance use, and trauma-related screening tools designed for juvenile justice settings. The cost for our consultation services varies depending on the stage of development in your behavioral health screening efforts. We can adjust our services according to your needs and resources.

  1. Determining Your Needs: Consultation to help agencies (a) analyze and clarify their purpose for behavioral health screening, (b) selecting tools that best fit those purposes, and (c) determine needs for staff training on behavioral health screening.
  2. Making it Happen (Implementation With Fidelity): Consultation and advice on (a) how to get buy-in from stakeholders, those who can provide resources, and juvenile justice personnel, lawyers and judges who will be using the results of screening in their decisions about youths; and (b) constructing a policy-and-procedure document for screening that promotes effective use of screening in your agency and setting.
  3. Assets Mapping: We can provide asset mapping for agencies to support appropriate referrals based on a youth's mental health, substance use, and trauma needs, develop an agency-specific multi-tiered services matrix, and highlight areas for community capacity development. This process has two aims: to support appropriate referrals to effective resources based on youth's risk/needs and to support systems capacity building to improve the local community’s continuum of care for the target population.
  4. Quality Assurance: After screening has been in place, (a) consultation to fine-tune its efficiency and quality and (b) over time, consultation to assure that the quality (i.e., fidelity) of the behavioral health screening process has not diminished post-implementation.
  5. Continuous Quality Improvement/Data Analysis: Identifying the behavioral health needs of your young people as a group by analyzing archives of past screening scores in your agency to (a) assist your system in building local data tracking mechanisms to support real time aggregation of screening results and (b) consultation on how to best utilize aggregate data to inform your system on adolescent behavioral health needs and treatment resources needed to respond to those needs.


NYSAP offers training for diversion, probation, detention and residential placement staff (i.e., non-secure and secure) to teach them to administer, score and appropriately use various behavioral health screening tools. Training is also available to inform other system stakeholders to support implementation and sustainability of the behavioral health screening process. Trainings are available on-site or using remote (i.e., virtual) platforms. For a complete list of trainings, please check our training page.

Behavioral Health Publications

NYSAP professionals have developed and published guides and standards related to behavioral health screening in juvenile justice. Click on the following to review them or their availability.