You Have Been Referred for An Evaluation By DCS. Now What?
Being involved with the Department of Child Services (DCS) is often very stressful time for you and child or children. There are a lot of unknowns. You never dealt with this process before. You may feel as if the DCS providers do not trust you and that the system is out to harm you. Now as part of that process, you have been referred to Dr. Lombard’s office to complete a psychological assessment. Most likely, this is caused another increase your anxiety as you don’t know exactly what to expect. Dr. Lombard’s goal here is to help you better understand your referral to our office and to help you be more relaxed and less anxious.
There are a few different types of referrals that the DCS will make to our office. The most common type of referral is for what is called a Diagnostic Interview and Assessment. This appointment can take from 2 to 4 hours to complete depending on your history and the amount of time it takes you to fallout the paper. Your appointment will start with you completing consent and release paperwork. Those documents review what the process is, who will get the report, and the nature of the professional relationship between Dr. Lombard and yourself. Next, Dr. Lombard will complete a detailed diagnostic interview with you. During the diagnostic interview, Dr. Lombard interviews you with what we call a bio-psycho-social assessment. Dr. Lombard often takes notes on his computer to ensure the best accuracy possible. After the diagnostic interview is completed, Dr. Lombard will have you complete a background questionnaire. The background questionnaire is another way for us to gather detailed information in the most accurate manner possible. Lastly, Dr. Lombard will have you complete a brief survey that assesses her communication style. This is done so that the DCS can learn what is the best way to communicate with you. Dr. Lombard had found in the past that some of the difficulties between parents and the DCS was simply because of a mismatch between their communication styles. The purpose of completing this communication assessment is to reduce the chances of miscommunications in future.
The next type of evaluation that the DCS may refer you for is to a Psychological Testing assessment. Often, after completing the Diagnostic Interview and Assessment, the Department of Child Services refers parents again to Dr. Lombard’s office to complete psychological testing. The main purpose of the psychological testing is to have a more accurate and in-depth assessment of any potentially present mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, thought disorders, addiction issues, or personality disorders. The psychological testing appointment takes most people 4 to 6 hours to complete. This is a long appointment. Therefore, Dr. Lombard gives the clients plenty of breaks to stretch their legs, have a smoke, or do they need to relax. Dr. Lombard’s overall goal during this appointment is to obtain accurate psychological testing. He does not to rush you. If you rush too much, it is highly likely that the testing data you give will not be an accurate assessment of your current functioning. Therefore, Dr. Lombard encourages you to take your time and take many breaks.
Another type of assistance DCS refers parents for is a Drug and Alcohol Assessment. These appointments include a diagnostic interview, completion of a background questionnaire, psychological testing regarding alcohol and drug use, and completion of a communication style survey. These appointments take 3 to 4 hours to complete.
In addition to assessments of parents, Dr. Lombard also completes assessments of children involved with the DCS. So, you may be the person bringing your child or children to Dr. Lombard’s office to complete these assessments. In general, the children’s assessments include a combination of a diagnostic interview, psychological testing of the children, and a behavioral checklists that you complete regarding your child. Dr. Lombard is very interested in your insights on how your children are doing. That is why at your child’s assessment includes you completing the behavioral checklist.
Dr. Lombard recognizes that the process of working with the Department of Child Services and the court system can be very stressful for parents. Dr. Lombard does his best to help you feel welcome and well taken care of. Our office setting is similar to a residential condo. The clinical interview rooms are set up like family rooms. We have coffee, cappuccino, bottled water, and hot chocolate for the children. We do our best to help you and your children relax and feel comfortable. When you or your children are directly referred by Department of Child Services for an assessment of yourself or your children, there is no cost to you for completing success. However, if you self-refer to complete one of these evaluations, you will need to contact Dr. Lombard to discuss the cost and payment options.
Questions? Are You Ready To Schedule Your DCS Evaluation?
To schedule your appointment, or your child’s appointment with Dr. Lombard, please call our office at (260) 459-2900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you call our office, we will need to know what DCS office you are working with, who your case manager si, and your timeframe for completing this review. Dr. Lombard looks forward to working with you.