The aim of this study is to investigate the psychometric properties and the perceived usefulness of the BARO (Dutch: BAsisRaadsOnderzoek; Protection Board Preliminary Examination of Juvenile Suspects). The BARO is a first-line screening instrument for the identification of psychiatric disorders, adverse environmental factors, and levels of (dys)function in adolescent offenders (age 12 to 18), to be used by social workers of the Child Protection Board (CPB) following a police arrest.CPB workers administered the BARO to 295 juvenile offenders (91% boys, 9% girls). A subgroup of 66 offenders (89% boys, 11% girls) underwent an elaborate diagnostic assessment by forensic psychologists and psychiatrists. Using these assessments the most relevant psychometric properties of the BARO were studied. The perceived usefulness was studied using questionnaires to be filled in by the CPB social workers.The internal consistency of the instrument was sufficient to good, the concurrent validity of the CPB social workers applying the BARO and the forensic experts carrying out the comprehensive diagnostic assessment was strong, the discriminatory value of the instrument was moderate to strong, and the perceived usefulness of the instrument was evaluated as good to very good by the majority of the CPB workers.The BARO has sufficient to good psychometric properties including moderate to strong discriminatory value and is considered a good screening instrument by the CPB social workers. In conclusion, the BARO seems to be a very promising first-line screening instrument to identify psychiatric and psychosocial problems in young offenders.