Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in a trauma assessment?

  • Part 1 - Caregiver Interview: We talk with the current caregiver to gain a better understanding of what is going on for the child/family and the caregivers’ goals for the assessment. This interview can occur by phone or at CSU and lasts about 1 hour.
  • Part 2 - Child Assessment: We complete a series of neurocognitive testing, as well as a psychosocial interview, with the child. These assessments are conducted on Fridays beginning in the morning. Assessments last anywhere from 3-6 hours depending on a variety of factors (e.g., age, attention, task completion).
  • Part 3 - Collaboration: We connect with the child’s therapists, teachers, case workers, GALs, and other important people (e.g., prior caregivers, probation officers, lawyers) to gain further information about the child’s functioning, history, and current well-being.
  • Part 4 – Report: The main product of the trauma assessment is the report that contains an overview of the assessment and recommendations. The report is considered a “living document” in the sense that it will likely be revised throughout the assessment process. Once a complete version of the report has been created, we do the following:
    • Family Review: We set a meeting time with the family to review the completed report. Depending on his/her age, the child may be involved in some or all of this review process.
    • Facilitated Family Meeting: After the family has been briefed on the assessment and recommendations, a facilitated family meeting is held at the Department of Human Services. We recommend that the family and case worker be invited, along with any other supportive professionals or adults involved in the family’s life. Care should be taken to include only necessary individuals in this meeting as to not overwhelm the child or caregivers.

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How do I refer a child to a trauma assessment?

  • If you are a caseworker: Please submit the trauma screen and subsequent paperwork to Amanda Starr who will then contact a local trauma assessment provider to conduct the assessment.
  • If you wish to refer a child involved with the Department of Human Services: Please contact the child’s caseworker with any trauma-related concerns and work with the caseworker to complete a trauma screen which will direct the referral process.
  • If you wish to refer a child not involved with the Department of Human Services: Please contact CTRAC to learn more about the self-referral process.

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Can you assess sibling groups?

  • Yes. Depending on our availability we can see 2-3 siblings on one day, but we may need to see each child separately. We will work with the family to determine the best way to schedule each child.

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How long does the assessment process take?

  • Assessment reports are completed within 4 weeks of the child assessment. At this time, we will meet with the family to review the results of the assessment at CSU. This provides the family an opportunity review the assessment with the CTRAC team and discuss the rationale and purpose of each recommendation. The Facilitated Family meeting at DHS follows the CSU family review.

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What is included in the assessment report?

  • A summary of the child’s history and current well-being gained from DHS records, caregiver interviews, and discussions with relevant professionals
  • Results from the neurocognitive testing (e.g., Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, CELF language screener, Beery visual motor-integration test)
  • Results from child, caregiver and/or professional surveys regarding the child’s well-being across multiple domains (e.g., BRIEF self-report, Child Behavior Checklist, Sensory Profile, Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children)
  • An overview of the psychosocial interview
  • Summary and conclusions to facilitate a better understanding of how trauma has impacted the child
  • Recommendations for further services and treatments to support the child and family’s well-being and resilience

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When will the report and recommendations be released?

  • The assessment team will finalize the report after the family review. At this time, the final copy will be given to the caseworker. The timeline for this is typically 4-6 weeks after the child assessment has been completed. However, the lead clinician will be in contact with the caseworker after the assessment to discuss any preliminary recommendations or immediate safety concerns for the child/family.

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Can I watch the assessment?

  • The assessment process is a highly personal experience for a child. Therefore, in general, others are not allowed to observe assessments.
  • If your organization is interested in doing trauma assessments with children and/or youth, please contact us to discuss the ways an assessment may be observed.

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