ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST)

ICAST was developed and has served as a common instrument worldwide to enable systematic collection and comparison of data across cultures and time or between research groups for collecting data on the extent and depth of child abuse.

The tools are designed to gather information in three areas:

  • Parent interview that will ask about the child’s exposure to violence in the home (ICAST-P)
  • Young adult (Retrospective) version for adults who have recently become independent (ICAST-R)
  • A Child instrument for children over 11 years of age* (ICAST-C)

The ICAST tools are available to researchers at no cost. The most updated versions of ICAST-C, -P, and -R are available below in English, Spanish, Russian, and Korean. We also have older versions of ICAST available in 18 other languages that can be emailed on request (please see the table below). Please contact partnerships@ispcan.org.

Members can receive guidance from ISPCAN on the application of the tools. Please contact partnerships@ispcan.org. Non-members, we ask that you please fill out an ICAST request form by clicking on the link below the table at the bottom of this page. 

User agreement

Please note that the ICAST tools are designed for research; they are not designed to be screening tools for diagnostic purposes in clinical settings. Different trauma screeners are available for diagnostic purposes.

For research purposes, ISPCAN allows professionals to use these tools with the understanding that they agree to:

  • Use the tools in a culturally appropriate way that is also sensitive to the needs of children
  • Submit the questionnaire for ethical review by a professionally approved entity in the country/countries where the survey is conducted
  • Share a summary report of findings with ISPCAN and any new translations done

*A special note on use of the children’s questionnaire: The development of the child self-assessment questionnaire regarding maltreatment is controversial. Children may not have the perspective needed to categorize events as abusive. Child participation in research usually involves parental consent— younger children may not have the experience or education needed to give truly informed consent. Assessing the consequence of consent is significant, as the disclosure of information about child abuse could result in the child’s removal from his or her home and criminal prosecution of the parents. It is difficult for a child to assess the potential benefits and quality of research that is being conducted by researchers. While the collection of data from children has limitations and ethical boundaries, children are an incomparable source of data about abuse in the home, institutional or school settings.

ICAST for mobile devices

ICAST is now available for us on mobile devices using the free Epi Info app from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Instructions are below.

Instructions for accessing Epi Info to use ICAST on mobile devices:

  1. Download the desired manual and template file(s) to your device from Dropbox.
  2. Download Epi Info software from the CDC website.
  3. Open Epi Info software and select the “Create Forms” module.
  4. From the “Files” tab, select “Get Template” and point the browsing window to the location on your device where you saved the downloaded XML files. This should be done to import each template form (P, R, and C) to Epi Info.
  5. The templates can then be dragged and dropped from the “Project Explorer” side bar of the Epi Info Create Forms module into a new project.
  6. Begin customizing the ICAST forms for the member’s research site and collecting data.

CLICK HERE to watch a webinar on how to use ICAST for mobile devices

Other languages

The questionnaires and manuals were updated at the end of 2015 but are only in English, Russian, Spanish, and Korean. The previous version of the tools are available in the following languages. Please email partnerships@ispcan.org to request any of the versions listed below.

 Parent
Questionnaire
Retrospective
Questionnaire
Child
(HomeVersion)
Child
(Institutional Version)
ConsentForm
EnglishYesYesYesYes
AlbanianYesYes
Arabic: EgyptianYesYesYesYes
Arabic:

Saudi

YesYes
Latin and CyrillicYesYes
BulgarianYesYes
CroatianYesYes
FrenchYesYesYesYes
GreekYesYes
HindiYesYesYesYes
IcelandicYesYes
MacedonianYesYes
KoreanYesYesYes
MarathiYesYesYes
Serbian & HungarianYesYes
Romanian &HungarianYesYes
RussianYesYesYes
SpanishYesYesYesYes
ThaiYes
TurkishYesYes  

Download printable ICAST questionnaires below

Spanish Language Version

Download: ICAST-C

Download: ICAST-P

Download: ICAST-R 

Russian Language Version

Download: ICAST-C 

Download: ICAST-P 

Download: ICAST-R

English Language Version

Download: ICAST Combined Manuals (available only in English)

Download: ICAST-C 

Download: ICAST-P 

Download: ICAST-R 

Korean Language Version

Download: ICAST-C

Download: ICAST-P

Download: ICAST-R

To receive the ICAST tool in the additional languages listed on the chart above,

please contact:  partnerships@ispcan.org

History of ICAST

ISPCAN’s goal with ICAST is to provide a method to make reported incidence of all forms of violence against children more accurate and more representative of the true scope of the problem. Research instruments that measure child maltreatment are significant tools in preventing child abuse and neglect globally. It is our hope that the use of these tools will result in policies and programs that promote child protection and in curricula adaptation for general and continuing professional education. Most child abuse research to date has been conducted in affluent, western countries.

A significant barrier to research worldwide has been a lack of suitable tools to use in local surveys with children and young people. It is hoped that these tools will remove this barrier. It is also envisioned that the availability of a common tool will enable systematic comparison of data across cultures, time or between research groups even when such groups operate within the same country or use the same language.

With the support of the Oak Foundation, ISPCAN collaborated with UNICEF, the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to create the ICAST. The tools were designed by international experts, reviewed by more than 100 professionals from different countries using a Delphi process, field tested in 8 countries, and refined. Since then, ICAST has been translated and tested in at least 20 languages.

The first parent and young adult questionnaires were field tested in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, and Russia. The children’s questionnaire was field tested in Colombia, India, Russia, and Iceland. The questionnaires were translated into multiple languages and incorporate refinements based on feedback from translators and back-translators.

Three articles on validity of the instruments were published in Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal.

Acknowledgements

ISPCAN is very grateful to the immensely valuable and dedicated contributions several individuals have made, including those listed below. This project was led by Dr. Desmond Runyan of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment for Child Abuse and Neglect in the USA as the Special Representative to the NGO Subgroup on the UN Study on Violence Against Children, with the assistance of Dr. Adam Zolotor from the University of North Carolina. The project was coordinated by Dr. Michael Dunne of Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Mr. Gopalan Balagopal, Senior Adviser, Child Protection, UNICEF, and staff provided continued support from the time the UNICEF grant for the project was initiated. Clemencia Ramirez of Colombia, Dipty Jain of India, Randa Youssef of Egypt, Marcel Tshibangu of DR Congo, Helga Rúna Péturs of Iceland, Nurgul Mamyrova and Inna Andreeva of Kyrgyzstan, Bernard Gerbaka of Lebanon, Sham Kasim of Malaysia and Elena Volkova of Russia and coordinated the field test in each of these countries. Kimberly Svevo and George Palamattam provided ISPCAN support for the project.

Questions? Contact partnerships@ispcan.org