CYMH 5521
Assessment for Intervention in Child and Youth Mental Health

3.0 Credits


This interdisciplinary course is designed to enable bachelor's and master's prepared students to provide assessmentand treatment for clients with mental health disorders. The course provides an understanding of assessment issuesand approaches relevant to the support of children and youth with mental health concerns and their families. Students will be introduced to a range of issues and considerations that guide a thorough and accurate evaluation anddiagnosis and develop an understanding of specific assessment processes and instruments associated with specific conditions.

Delivery Method

Web, self-paced.


Completion of CYMH 5511: Context and Theory in Child and Youth Mental Health is required and acceptance in the Child and Youth Mental Health Certificate Program or acceptance as a Professional Development course-taker by the Program Coordinator. It is recommended that students have a background in social work, counseling, child and youth care, education and/or nursing.


After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Analyze key components of the strength-based perspective and how this practice approach is used in child and youth mental health assessment.
  • Describe specific professional roles, functions, processes, and tools for assessing and evaluating children and youth who present with mental health issues.
  • Develop core interviewing and clinical skills, knowledge and attitudes related to collaborative assessment of children and youth.
  • Generate a family genogram to illustrate knowledge of key concepts, theories, and best practices in assessing families of children and youth who present with mental health concerns.
  • Demonstrate understanding of best practices and professional requirements related to ethical considerations including scope of practice, informed consent, confidentiality, case management, and documentation of information gathered in assessing children and youth.
  • Conceptualize fundamental concepts, principles, and best practices related to trauma-informed care of children and youth impacted by mental health issues.
  • Develop comprehensive knowledge related to physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and sexual development of infants, children and youth and how this relates to assessment of mental health.
  • Formulate an understanding of the history, structure, organization, and use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) in the assessment of children and youth.
  • Outline specific clinical terminology and functions related to the assessment of children and youth including intake, provisional diagnosis, diagnosis, care plan, and treatment plan.
  • Classify specific child and youth mental health disorders in the DSM-V and other evidence-based research.
  • Utilize child and youth mental health assessment frameworks, clinical skills and strategies to analyze case studies of young people with common mental health and psycho-social concerns.
  • Identify circumstances of child and youth maltreatment and understand the child protection legislation, protocols, procedures, and practices that are in place for reporting suspected child and youth abuse and neglect to child protection authorities.

Course Outline

CYMH 5521: Assessment in Child and Youth Mental Health includes the following five modules in twelve units:

  • Module 1: Overview of Assessment Roles, Functions, Skills and Processes
  • Unit 1: Understanding Key Components, Skills and Processes in Child and Youth Mental Health Assessment
  • Unit 2: Assessment of Children, Youth and Families

Module 2: Child and Adolescent Development and Assessment Frameworks

  • Unit 3: Assessment Framework and Pre-Natal Infant Development
  • Unit 4: Child Development
  • Unit 5: Adolescent Development

Module 3: Child and Youth Mental Health Disorders

  • Unit 6: Introduction to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), Developmental Disabilities, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Unit 7: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Disorders in the DSM-5
  • Unit 8: Substance Use, Misuse and Behavioural Addictions in Young People

Module 4: Special Topics in Assessing Child and Youth Mental Health

  • Unit 9: Impacts of Psycho-Social Issues on Children and Youth
  • Unit 10: Working with Children and Youth in Foster Care, Aboriginal and Immigrant Youth

Module 5: Specialized Assessments

  • Unit 11: Specialized Assessments for Child Maltreatment and Family Violence
  • Unit 12: Specialized Assessment for Complex Mental Health Issues

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

NOTE: Students will be required to purchase their own textbook for this course.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 5e, 2013.
Type: Textbook: ISBN: 9780890425558 / 0890425558

Additional Requirements

This web-based course requires that students have reliable access to the internet. Refer to the TRU-OL website for computer requirements (

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Management System's "Mail" tool or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve an overall passing grade of 70% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final project.

Assignment 1: Family Genogram 20%
Journal Submission 1 10%
Assignment 2: Informational Interview 20%
Final Project: Essay Outline 5%
Journal Submission 2 10%
Journal Summary 10%
Final Project * 25%
Total: 100%