The RAPID Program began as an innovative collaboration between MindSights, DHS, and Health Share of Oregon. This program has expanded over time to include youth covered through Trillium CCO.
The RAPID Program is our response to the need for quality mental health evaluations for children entering foster care in Multnomah and Washington counties. This enhanced mental health assessment aims to accomplish several things: (a) screen for behavioral, emotional, social, and developmental issues that youth in foster care are at high risk for, (b) gather preliminary data that may be helpful in understanding youth and/or accessing and planning services, and (c) provide initial steps for caseworkers that go beyond mental health treatment.
The acronym RAPID itself stands for Relational health, Academic skills, Psychological functioning, Intellectual capability, and Developmental status, reflecting the expanded view of screening practices. The RAPID name also ties into the quick turnaround time for these evaluations. They are completed within a youth’s first 60 days of enrollment in OHP, post-entry into foster care. A RAPID evaluation meets the state of Oregon requirement for an initial mental health assessment for all youth ages one year and older entering DHS custody. An up-to-date overview of the process is provided in this handout: RAPID Program Handout
RAPID Evaluation Process:
Referrals are automatically submitted by District DHS staff following a child’s entry into care. The standard RAPID evaluation includes the following:
Child interview, observations, and testing are conducted over the course of a single appointment. Depending on the age of the child, appointments last from approximately 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Following the appointment, the aim is to have the written report completed within 2 work days. The reports include tiered diagnostic impressions and wide-ranging recommendations (speaking to needed services and suggested strategies that go beyond standard mental health treatment recommendations).
The MindSights evaluator completes the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment (CANS). This is the required level-of-care screening tool for Oregon DHS cases. Completion of the CANS typically occurs on the day of the assessment.
*Please note that while our clinicians enter CANS ratings, we are not made privy to the CANS formulation process or resulting outcome score. We try our best to complete these assessments given the information available to us. If there are any questions or concerns about the outcome score, those should be addressed through the CANS appeals process. Resource families may connect with their certifier or ODHS District CANS coordinator for information on the appeals process. MindSights clinicians are certainly available for follow-up questions about our ratings.
We aim to schedule a debriefing of RAPID results within two weeks after the assessment. This debriefing session typically involves the evaluator, current caregiver, and DHS caseworker. If the youth is a pediatric patient with an Every Step Clinic, the clinic’s Foster Youth Care Coordinator will be invited to, and may, join the debriefing. Any other providers, family members, and community contacts are welcome to join with DHS permission.
Care Management Support:
If a child’s caregiver and caseworker are present at the debriefing, the MindSights evaluator can assist with connecting clients to mental health services. Our staff also help to connect families with care coordination services with their health plan provider, if these services are recommended.
Distribution of Reports:
As part of coordinated care efforts, we work with community partners to make sure that important members of a child’s team have access to the RAPID report. The report directly goes to the DHS caseworker and caregiver following the debriefing. Additionally, if we have written permission from DHS, we distribute RAPID reports to the child’s school Foster Care Point of Contact. As ongoing providers, we are able to share RAPID reports with primary care providers and ongoing mental health providers as well. Additionally, DHS district staff will release the report to early intervention services (i.e., Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education programs) or to Developmental Disabilities services if referrals to these programs need to be made following the RAPID evaluation.