Effective Date: 10-1-2021
An “Independent Assessor”, sometimes referred to a “Qualified Individual”, means a trained professional or licensed clinician who is not an employee of the Children’s Division or a foster care case management contractor (or subcontractor thereof) of the Children’s Division; and whose assessment does not present a conflict of interest between a child’s treatment needs and placement in a particular residential setting, as determined by the Division. The Independent Assessor shall:
- Assess the strengths and needs of the child using an age-appropriate, trauma informed, evidence-based, validated tool approved by the Division;
- Assess whether the needs of the child can be met through placement with family members or in a foster home;
- If the needs of the child cannot be met with family members or in a foster home, explain why the child’s placement in a residential setting shall be the most effective and appropriate level of care in the least restrictive environment;
- Describe how that placement is consistent with the short-term and long-term goals for the child as specified in the child’s permanency plan;
- Develop a list of child-specific short-term and long-term mental and behavioral health goals; and
- Work in conjunction with the child’s family support team while conducting and making the required assessment within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the completed referral.
All Independent Assessors shall also follow all terms and specifications of his/her contract with the Department of Social Services.