Using the Environmental Screening Questionnaire (ESQ™)

The Environmental Screening Questionnaire (ESQ™), Research Edition is a free, easy-to-use, parent-completed screening tool that helps you gather important information about children’s home environments. Through a series of simple yes-or-no questions, you can identify factors that may affect a family’s ability to support their child’s development.

This tool will be a valuable addition to your program if you serve families who are multi-stressed, or who face environmental challenges such as poverty, unsafe housing, or health concerns.


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Enhance your screening program by adding this easy assessment of each child’s home environment.

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Pair ESQ with ASQ for Comprehensive Screening

ESQ was created by Jane Squires and Diane Bricker, two of the co-developers of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ). Used in tandem, the two tools give you a clearer picture of a child’s developmental status and well-being, and provide insight into the types of referrals that may be needed to ensure the best possible outcomes.


ESQ Assesses Social Determinants of Health

The ESQ questionnaire features five questions in each of six areas: Education and Employment, Housing, Child and Family Health, Economics and Finances, Family Life, and Community.

These areas represent different social determinants of health (SDOH), which the World Health Organization defines as “conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age” and which are “mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries.”

ESQ Webinar

Watch a webinar recording presented by ESQ developers Jane Squires and Diane Bricker.

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Families with risk factors in these areas may find it challenging to fully meet their child’s developmental needs. For example, a caregiver who is unemployed may not be able to provide the child with enough nutritious food, and may be experiencing emotional stress that makes it difficult to focus on the child’s needs.

On the other hand, families with protective factors in these areas may be better equipped to help their child learn and grow. A caregiver with a steady job and access to supportive friends and grandparents may be able to better provide for the child financially and emotionally.

In addition to identifying specific risk and protective factors, the ESQ questionnaire encourages caregivers to share specific concerns in each of the six areas.


Use the Results to Connect Families to Support Services

If a family’s questionnaire scores indicate a need for follow-up in any area, or if they listed specific concerns, have a discussion to determine whether the results accurately represent their situation. Then you can discuss next steps, such as connecting the family to your organization’s resources, or referring them to another agency for help.

It’s important to re-screen after the family explores the resources you recommended, or if their situation changes. You may also choose to screen periodically to monitor for improvements over time.


Download Your Free Copy of ESQ Today

ESQ is free to use and available now from the Brookes Publishing website. Your download includes the Environmental Screening Questionnaire and Referral Summary sheet, both in English and Spanish, plus a Guide.

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  • Children with Hands in the Air

    What ASQ Users are Saying

    “I like the ASQ:SE, which is an easy non-threatening tool to use to assess important social-emotional developmental milestones of the baby…. This tool lends itself well to developing educational activities to foster a healthy parenting relationship.”

    Cynthia Suire, MSN, RN, Nurse–Family Partnership Program Louisiana Office of Public Health