The CPDS is a multi-source instrument that assesses non-specific child psychosocial distress and the likelihood of need for psychosocial treatment. The instrument is developed as a primary screener in complex emergencies (especially low-and middle-income settings), for children between 8 and 14 years old. We recommend the instrument for assessing indication for secondary preventive group-based psychosocial interventions. Development of the CPDS followed a culturally grounded approach. The CPDS uses broad questions, and focuses on domains of distress, resilience and school-functioning.