Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery

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Intake and Evaluation

Intake

Starting Treatment - What to Expect
When you call for an appointment you will be contacted by a therapist within 24 hours on weekdays and we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The first step requires registration and billing confirmation. In most cases, the first appointment will be with the adult caregiver alone, and subsequent appointments will include the child. At the first appointment, we will discuss the evaluation process and answer any questions you may have.

Fees and Payment - Who We Cover
At present we only uniformly accept Medicaid, (Community Behavioral Health). Other insurances may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. We use a sliding scale for those with no or inadequate insurance.

Privacy Information - Confidentiality and HIPAA
No information will be released without our consent of the child and/or guardian.


Evaluation

The evaluation process typically follows a standard, comprehensive protocol that takes about 4-6 meetings. The evaluation includes gathering extensive information from the child, caregiver and collateral resources such as Pediatricians, Schools, and other Child Welfare Agencies. The goal of the evaluation is to assess which of the several treatment interventions will best fit the child and family and to prepare for future treatment as needed. The assessment incorporates standardized, semi-structured interviews, which have proven to be the most efficient way to screen for Traumatic Stress and PTSD signs and symptoms.

In addition to assessment and evaluation, our comprehensive intake procedure provides extensive psychoeducation, introduction to treatment modalities and clear explanations of the treatment process for both the child and their caregivers.


Sample Intake Schedule

  • Session 1: Therapist meets individually with the adult caregiver to obtain relevant background information, history and to conduct structured interviews regarding current trauma symptoms and stressors.

  • Session 2: Therapist meets with child for first half of session and conducts trauma symptom interviews. Therapist then meets with both caregiver and child to review symptom reports.

  • Session 3: Caregiver and child meet with therapist to continue to assess symptoms, engage in conversation, provide skills to help the child and caregiver cope with symptoms.

  • Session 4: Together the family and therapist formulate a plan for subsequent treatment, including making referrals as needed or developing longer-term plan with the current therapist.

For children that are in foster care or an independent living situation, such as a group or residential home, the intake process may require slight modifications with the goal of including any individuals that will be a consistent support in the child's treatment.