Rosie D.
Reforming the Mental Health System in Massachusetts

Step 4:  Comprehensive Home-Based Assessment

Conducting the comprehensive home-based assessment is a critical step in determining the type, amount, and duration of home-based services.  When a child is referred to Intensive Care Coordination, a comprehensive home-based assessment and treatment planning process is initiated.     



Comprehensive Home-Based Assessment: This detailed assessment is based on information collected from families, caregivers, teachers, providers and other involved entities, such as state agencies or community organizations.  The intensive care coordinator collaborates with the family to identify the child’s strengths and areas of need.   The comprehensive assessment focuses on the multiple domains of the child, including emotional and behavioral health, physical health, family stability, safety, education, vocational, housing, social, and recreational. 

The comprehensive assessment usually includes the following components:

·         a visit to the child’s home;

·         communications with teachers and, if necessary, a visit to the child’s school;

·         interviews with family members, teachers, and individuals involved in the child’s life;

·         a complete treatment history;

·         a diagnostic assessment by a qualified mental health professional if the child does not already have a current mental health diagnosis; and

·        an in-depth review of information on the child’s strengths, skills, and challenges.


Who completes the comprehensive assessment: The intensive care coordinator assigned to the child coordinates the comprehensive home-based assessment. 


Why is a comprehensive assessment important:  Because the comprehensive assessment focuses on the strengths and needs of the child, it provides the foundation for the treatment team to identify, plan, and provide home-based services and is used to determine the type, intensity, and duration of needed services.  


For a detailed comprehensive assessment, read the Feature on Care Managers. 


Click here for Step 5, Treatment Planning Process

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