Residential Assessment

Based on an IEP team decision from our 15 school districts and/or our charter schools under the Desert/Mountain SELPA and Desert/Mountain Charter SELPA, the Desert/Mountain Children’s Center (DMCC) will begin the process of assessing a child for residential behavioral health services and placement. The best practice for the IEP team is to include DMCC in the IEP in which the residential assessment referral will be made.

The DMCC shares the process and steps required to complete the residential assessment. At the IEP the DMCC will receive:

  • Residential referral form (DMC 151)
  • Current IEP
  • Psychological/psycho-educational testing
  • Attendance/disciplinary reports
  • Obtain release of information form(s) to be completed between district/school, other providers for the child and DMCC
  • Signed assessment plan

The DMCC begins the process of assessing the child for residential treatment services. DMCC conducts a client assessment, school observation, and home visit. DMCC will gather information from teacher(s) report, parent report, previous behavioral health providers, probation, and hospitalizations. DMCC will also complete a psycho-social assessment. DMCC reviews all educational psychology reports and IEP’s, conducts additional assessments including a projective assessment (House-Tree-Person), Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF), Short Sensory Profile, Adverse Childhood Events, Trauma symptom checklist (when appropriate, Teacher BRIEF, Teacher Short Sensory Profile, Child Behavior Checklist (parent and teacher) and the Parent Stress Index to determine eligibility. If necessary, consideration may also be given for further neuro-psychological testing through the DMCC.

The results of the assessment/report are shared at the next IEP meeting conducted within 60 days of the referral for residential assessment. The DMCC clinician who has conducted the residential assessment determines the recommendation of eligibility for residential placement based on the child’s need to benefit from their special education services and shares this with the IEP team. The IEP team then determines if based on the recommendation from the clinician if the child should be placed in residential care or not.

When it is determined the clinician’s recommendation will be placement due to the child’s serious emotional disturbance, DMCC begins exploring appropriate placements prior to the IEP team meeting in order to make recommendations.

Once the IEP team has agreed to residential placement and prior to the child being placed in residential care, the DMCC requests from the child’s parents the completion of a medical evaluation, dental evaluation and eye evaluation. The DMCC also requests releases to be signed by the parent to send out initial packets to appropriate residential placement(s) for preliminary acceptance/denial.