What to expect
To ensure that youth and families receive the treatment best suited to their needs, our intake process is designed to provide a detailed and well-informed impression of each child and family. Here is an overview of what a family can expect once you refer them to us.
A large number of families that come to MCYAF are referred by a teacher or educator who feels that an assessment would provide clarity to the child’s situation and/or challenges. Teachers often call ahead to let us know about a potential incoming case or referral; however, in order to formally begin the intake process, families must contact MCYAF directly.
Once a family begins the intake process and signs our release forms, our team will collaborate and interview designated teachers and other support systems closely involved with the child. We work directly with these adults to build a detailed and nuanced understanding of the child.
Following the intake process, our clinical team will meet to determine whether or not a comprehensive or targeted assessment is needed. If a comprehensive assessment with MCYAF is recommended as the best next step, our team will contact the family to schedule a meeting with one of our assessment psychologists. If the child has already recently undergone testing, or if we do not deem an assessment advisable for the child’s specific needs, our staff may offer a referral to an outside resource or professional for continued help.
At MCYAF, we offer both comprehensive and targeted assessments. If a child’s treatment plan includes a comprehensive assessment, one of our assessment psychologists will administer thorough and cross-disciplinary testing over three consecutive mornings. A targeted assessment will address a specific area of concern and will be administered in a single three-hour session. Areas of evaluation will include:
• Academic ability
• Social-emotional functioning
• Coping operations
• Neuropsychological functioning
Each assessment is tailored specifically to the individual youth and is based on the child’s age, ability, and the identified areas of concern. Some tests are more formal, while others are similar to play or conversation.
After the assessments, all of the information that has been gathered will be discussed by the multidisciplinary team. They will formulate a diagnostic impression that they will use to determine a proposal for treatment that will specifically address the needs of the individual youth and family.
Next, the family will meet with our clinical team for a feedback session. Our team will explain what we have learned and any treatment recommendations. After the session, we will send a confidential written report to the family and, if requested, an appropriate version to the child’s school.
All assessments include the option for an in-person meeting with educators at the child’s school. Whether a school meeting will take place depends on the recommendations of our clinical team and the wishes of the parents.
We offer a variety of in-house therapy options for families who can benefit from continued treatment. These options may include family therapy, couples therapy, individual or group therapy for the child, educational therapy, individual therapy for another family member, or a combination of these services.
All services at MCYAF, including therapy, are offered on a sliding scale. Each treatment is determined according to the family’s unique needs. Treatment will end at the point when both the client and therapist feel it is appropriate.
In some cases, we offer referrals to outside resources and professionals for continued help. This direction is common for families that do not live locally, or have needs that we determine can be better served elsewhere.
In an effort to achieve a far-reaching understanding of each child’s progress, testing is repeated one year after the completion of treatment.