Clinical assessments are key to developing successful treatment strategies. Some referrals require specialty metrics to comprehensively investigate additional dimensions such as addiction and/or domestic violence.
For every incoming and prospective client, one of Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute’s independently licensed supervisors will conduct a comprehensive biological, psychological and social assessment. As a trauma informed agency ,the use of this measure comes from a belief that a person’s overall health is best understood through a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. All these domains play a significant role in human functioning, and the accurate and effective assessment of the “whole picture” will contribute to the development of treatment recommendations most appropriate for the client.
Our agency has three independently licensed supervisors who run our Multisystemic Therapy programs for youth with problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB). As a result of their specialized focus with this at-risk population, we are able to provide psychosexual assessments to stakeholders and families who are looking for a higher-level assessment to determine vulnerabilities and protective factors of the youth and his or her family.
In some cases, psychometrics such as the JSOAP-II (Juvenile Sexual Offender Protocol II) or the ERASOR (Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism) will be used as an enhancement to the assessment. It is important to note use of any psychometric for this type of assessment will only be used as an additional information-gathering tool and not as a means of assessing risk for sexual recidivism.
DISCLOSURE REGARDING RISK ASSESSMENTS: Determining specific level of risk for re-offense of sexual harm is currently statistically impossible and unethical. At this time, there are no empirically validated measures for determining specific probability of youthful sexual re-offense (Prescott, 2006; Calder, 2011). Multiple factors make prediction problematic in adolescents: 1. the fluid nature of adolescent development; 2. low base rates for sexual recidivism among children and adolescents (Caldwell, 2007; Wait, Keller, McGarvey, Wieckowski, Pinkerton & Brown, 2005); and 3. lack of consensus on defining predictors of recidivism in adolescents (Miccio-Fonseco & Rasmussen, 2006). Based on these factors, the goal of this type of assessment is to build on strengths in order to reduce harm and increase the potential for successful outcomes. Research suggests that treatment failures are a predictor of sexual recidivism; therefore, it is essential that the youth’s treatment be accurately assessed regardless of the outcome of pending charges.
Substance Use/Abuse Assessments
Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute has an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for youth with substance abuse/dependence concerns. These services are offered in Bernalillo and Valencia counties. In addition to IOP services we also provide treatment to adolescents involved with the Sandoval County Drug Court. Our substance abuse/dependence services teach and promote the 7 Challenges Model. Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute also promotes helping youth address their drug problems as well as their co-occurring life skills deficits, situational problems and psychological problems.
In order to ensure accurately and effectively referral to these programs, our program supervisors will conduct a comprehensive Biopsychosocial Assessment targeting the substance use behavior. In addition to this, our IOP supervisors further assess through use of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). This placement measurement assists with determining the appropriate level of care and treatment for someone with substance use/abuse concerns.
Suicide & Crisis Assessments
Through a contract with the Albuquerque Public School (APS), Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute provides same-day suicide risk assessments to all students in the district who have made any statement or gesture, written and/or verbal, indicating suicidal ideation. This assessment is conducted at our agency under the supervision of an independently licensed supervisor and involved the student and his/her family or caregivers. Following the assessment, the student and family are given recommendations and safety planning options to address the specific needs of the student.
In addition to same day suicide assessments, Southwest Family Guidance Center & Institute will also conduct a next day crisis assessment for students referred by the district for threats of harm to others or other significant crisis situations that may be impacting the student’s ability to function.