The RAPID Program began as an innovative collaboration between MindSights, DHS, and Health Share of Oregon. 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 stand 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, as they are completed within a youth’s first 60 days of 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 .pdf Handout
RAPID Evaluation Process: Referrals are automatically submitted by District 2 (Multnomah County) and District 16 (Washington County) DHS staff following a child’s entry into care. The standard RAPID evaluation includes the following:
- Interview with the primary caregiver (usually completed over the phone prior to the evaluation)
- Review of any available preliminary case documents (e.g., Initial Shelter Order)
- Outreach to teachers regarding school-based behaviors and relationships (for school-age youth)
- Interview with the child and mental status examination
- Relational observations of the child with their accompanying caregiver/siblings
- Direct psychological testing using age-based assessment batteries
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 3 hours. Following the appointment, the aim is to have the written report completed within 24 hours. The reports include tiered diagnostic impressions and wide-ranging recommendations (speaking to referrals and suggested strategies that go beyond standard mental health treatment recommendations).
CANS Screening: The MindSights evaluator completes the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment (CANS), which is the required level-of-care screening tool for Oregon DHS cases. Completion of the CANS typically occurs on the day of assessment.
Please note that while our clinicians enter CANS ratings, we are not made privy to the CANS 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. We are certainly available for consultation around this process and/or for follow-up questions about our ratings.
Debriefings: We aim to schedule a debriefing of RAPID results a week after the assessment was scheduled. This debriefing session typically involves the evaluator, current caregiver, and DHS caseworker; however, other providers, family members, and community contacts are welcome to come given DHS permission. 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, if that is 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 and primary care provider. Additionally, DHS district staff release the report to early intervention services (i.e., Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education programs) or to Developmental Disabilities services if referring a child to these programs following the RAPID evaluation.
For clinical consultation or general program management inquiries (systems-level discussions, exploration of new partnerships, program feedback, etc.), please contact:
Dr. Roxanne Edwinson
RAPID Program Manager
For general information, assistance with referrals, scheduling issues, or if you are a current provider who wants to request a RAPID report, please contact:
RAPID Administrative Assistant
For questions about school, primary care, or care coordination referrals, please contact:
Practice Management Assistant