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July 2012Vol. 13, No. 6Mental Health Assessment Tip Sheet

Children and youth in foster care often have symptoms and behaviors that may require assessment for possible pharmacological support. In Arizona, the Child and Family Team (CFT) process facilitates discussions around the need for appropriate services, which may involve a referral for psychiatric assessment and medication treatment. The tip sheet Guidelines for Caregivers: Are You Prepared for Your Child's Psychiatric Evaluation? by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Children, Youth and Families, provides caregivers with a checklist of questions to ask during the evaluation and medication monitoring appointments. This brief guide focuses on the following key recommendations:

  • Explain the purpose of the visit with the child
  • Describe child behavior in detail
  • Provide relevant medical records
  • Review diagnosis and medication treatment plan
  • Discuss pros and cons of medication, side effects, etc.
  • Evaluate the informed consent form

After the evaluation, additional areas of focus relate to the prescription, use, and management of any medications. The tip sheet is available on the Arizona Department of Economic Security website: (981 KB)