Children’s Mental Health Child and Youth Assessment Services

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Assessment services gather information to help figure out what behavioral health services your child and family may need and whether you are eligible. There are two parts to assessment services: intake and uniform assessment. Both services help determine your child’s eligibility for services, gather required information, evaluate the clinical needs of your child, determine needs for mental health or substance use treatment and enroll or refer your child in services depending on those needs. The child and caretaker must be present during these services.

What Are the Benefits of Child and Youth Assessment Services?

Assessment services:

  • Help determine the eligibility of your child for mental health services.
  • Help identify your child’s areas of strengths and needs and what services will meet those needs.
  • Identify your needs as a caregiver or parent and your family’s needs and strengths.
  • Screen your child for mental health disorders and trauma history.
  • Assess risks that may affect the functioning of your child or place your child at risk.
  • Determines appropriate level of care and treatment recommendations.
  • Guide development of a recovery plan by you, your child and the treatment care team.

Who Is Eligible for Child and Youth Assessment Services?

All children and youth seeking children’s mental health treatment services can receive an intake and uniform assessment. Eligibility is determined once the assessment is completed.

Intake

An intake typically includes:

  • Providing documentation required by the provider such as identification card, proof of residence, proof of income, health insurance information and documentation of the custody of the child.
  • Signing a consent for assessment, services and treatment. Your child may be asked to sign a consent for services.
  • Receiving information about your child’s rights and your rights as a consumer of services and how your information is kept private and confidential under the limits of the law.
  • Early screening for eligibility of services.
  • You may be asked to meet with additional staff to discuss financial information, benefits information, health insurance information and complete additional forms.

Uniform Assessment

The uniform assessment is a comprehensive assessment that includes a clinical interview and dialogue about your child’s and family’s needs and strengths including child history, behavior, functioning, strengths, interests and your family’s history and functioning.

The uniform assessment typically includes:

  • Presenting the reason your child needs services.
  • Demographic information, family history and early childhood information of your child
  • Risk assessment to determine if your child needs immediate crisis services or is an imminent threat to self or others.
  • The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment, including clinical, personal and historical questions about your child, family and symptoms that the provider will use to determine level of care and service recommendations.
  • A dialogue about your child’s and the family’s needs and strengths, where you and your child both participate equally and answer questions. Some questions may make you or your child uncomfortable or embarrassed, but they are important to answer so the provider can help.

Eligibility Determination

If your child is eligible for services, you will both participate in developing a recovery plan that guides treatment and services. You will also have a follow-up appointment during which your child will be enrolled in services.

Learn more about services your child can receive and eligibility criteria on the community health services page.

If your child is ineligible for services, we can still provide resources and contact information for community options that may be appropriate for your child based on identified needs.

How Do I Get Child and Youth Assessment Services?

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-8255
800-273-TALK

Find your local mental health authority or local behavioral health authority.

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