For the purposes of this presentation, screening and assessment are defined as part of an ongoing process that examines substance use and mental health. Screening determines if there is a need for further investigation, assessment is more in-depth to determine severity including whether a substance use or mental health disorder exists based on formal criteria DSM IV TR.
There are a couple of things that make screening and assessment particularly challenging with homeless youth:
Many aren’t initially seeking substance abuse or mental health services
Many shelters and transitional housing programs don’t have the staff to do the screening or assessment
The problem then is that many homeless youth are not formerly or accurately assessed and go untreated, further
complicating their overall recovery.