Catching 'red flag' behaviors early is the key to helping children and adolescents before social-emotional difficulties become major roadblocks to academic success and personal adjustment. Now there are two easy, reliable tools that give K-12 education professionals the complete picture of a child's social-emotional strengths and risk behaviors in school (SSBS-2) and at home and in the community (HCSBS). Used in tandem, these two tools are the perfect way to: identify children with problem behaviors; target classroom interventions and develop IEPs; measure the effectiveness of interventions over time; remove barriers to learning and help children reach their goals; and, bring families into the process to provide the best support for children.Teachers or other school personnel complete SSBS-2, a simple 2-page rating scale that looks at both Social Competence and Antisocial Behavior. Specific items on both positive and negative behaviors give users accurate results and provide direction for intervention and support in school. To ensure that screening doesn't stop with the school day, follow up with HCSBS - set up like SSBS-2 and completed by a parent or other person who knows the child well - to evaluate the child's behavior at home and in the community. Together, these easy-to-use tools provide the most complete information about a child's behavior, help families see where their children need the most support, and improve outcomes by extending behavior screening and intervention beyond the classroom.
Kenneth W. Merrell, Ph.D. is a professor of school psychology in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences at the University of Oregon. He has served as School Psychology Program Director and Co-director as well as Department Head.