ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST)

  • Members can access the ICAST tools and combined manual on this page at no cost (see Membership rates here).
  • Members can receive guidance from ISPCAN and the ISPCAN community on the application of the tools.
  • Members can also use ICAST on their mobile devices with the free Epi Info app from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Scroll down for instructions below.
  • Non-members will be charged a fee of $175 to access to the tools. This fee will support further development of ICAST. You will receive access to the combined manual and all questionnaires via email once your order is processed. Please note, it may take 7-14 business days for orders to be processed. Click here to purchase ICAST.


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ICAST Overview

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

The tools are developed for gathering information in three areas:

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

*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.

Professionals may 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 & any new translations done

Request the ICAST tools here >>>

The questionnaires and manuals were updated at the end of 2015 but are currently only available in English, Russian and Spanish.

The previous version of the tools are available in the following languages:


(Institutional Version)
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Albanian Yes Yes
Arabic: Egyptian Yes Yes Yes Yes


Yes Yes
Latin and Cyrillic Yes Yes
Bulgarian Yes Yes
Croatian Yes Yes
French Yes Yes Yes Yes
Greek Yes Yes
Hindi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Icelandic Yes Yes
Macedonian Yes Yes
Korean Yes
Marathi Yes Yes Yes
Serbian & Hungarian Yes Yes
Romanian &Hungarian Yes Yes
Russian Yes Yes Yes
Spanish Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thai Yes
Turkish Yes Yes    


ISPCAN’s goal for this project 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.

History of ICAST

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 and Russia and in 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.


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 [email protected]