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Health Care > Assessments, Exams and Testing > Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) Assessments

Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) Assessments and Meetings

0600-500.05 | Revision Date: 05/26/22

Overview

This policy guide provides information on Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) Assessments and their incorporation into Child and Family Team (CFT) MeetingsCFT Meetings are structured, guided discussions with the family, their natural supports and other team members. The meetings are designed to specifically address the family's strengths, worries that the family, agency or team members have regarding the child's safety, permanence and well-being. The family and team members develop a plan that builds on strengths, meets needs and considers the long-term views., including information on MAT eligibility. It provides guidance on completing the MAT assessments, and the required steps when receiving a MAT eligible case, including in situations when a MAT assessment was completed after the initial jurisdiction/disposition court date.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT)

MAT Eligibility Criteria

MAT Referrals

MAT Participants/Roles

MAT Assessments

MAT CFT Meetings

Procedure

A MAT Eligible Child is Detained

ER CSW Responsibilities

CSW Responsibilities

ER SCSW Responsibilities

The Court Did Not Order a MAT Assessment on a MAT Eligible Child

DI Responsibilities

Receiving MAT Identified Cases

Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

Continuing Services SCSW Responsibilities

DI/Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

DI SCSW Responsibilities

MAT Assessment Completed After Initial Jurisdiction/Disposition Court Date

DI Responsibilities

Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

Continuing Services SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms 

Referenced Policy Guides

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version, to update procedures for the Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT), provide instructions to upload documents onto the DCFS Referral Portal, remove reference to ISW CSWs, and outline the process for the MAT CFT meetings.

POLICY

Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT)

The Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) is a collaboration between DCFS and the Department of Mental Health (DMH) designed to ensure the immediate and comprehensive assessment of children entering out-of-home placement. MAT’s goals are:

 

The Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT) is responsible for identifying and referring MAT eligible children at the time of detention.

MAT Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for MAT, all of the following criteria must be met:

MAT Referrals

After eligibility is determined, the DCFS Coordinated Services Action Team (CSAT) CSA I puts together a complete referral package, which includes the following:

 

Once the package is complete, the DCFS CSAT CSA I or DMH MAT Coordinator assigns a provider from the MAT Provider List to meet the needs of the family.

MAT Participants/Roles

The following individuals/groups participate in the MAT process:

 

The Continuing Services CSW:

 

The SCSW of the Continuing Services CSW:

 

The DI:

 

The DI SCSW:

 

The DMH Contracted MAT Provider:

 

DMH MAT Staff:

 

The ER CSW:

 

The ER SCSW:

 

The DCFS CSAT Team:

 

The Public Health Nurse (PHN):

MAT Assessments

Designated DMH Providers have been identified to complete the MAT assessment within 30-45 days of receiving a complete referral packet. The MAT assessment process occurs independently of the DCFS detention process. The MAT assessment addresses the following areas of need:

 

The DMH MAT Provider is required to conduct the standard DMH Child and Adolescent Assessment and complete the MAT Summary of Findings (SOF) Report. The information gathered is used to determine what services are needed by the child and the most appropriate placement for the child that will reduce the amount of time the child is separated from their family. The assessment process culminates in the MAT SOF Report and is incorporated in to the child’s Case Plan which is presented to the Court. The DMH Child and Adolescent Assessment includes:

MAT CFT Meetings

The process outlined below is with the understanding that the MAT CFT is the initial CFT for the family. Should the initial CFT take place in ER, the MAT CFT meeting will be treated as a follow-up CFT meeting. CSAT will schedule a staff engagement meeting prior to the follow up CFT, to accommodate new professional team members, but a family engagement meeting will not be necessary for a follow up MAT CFT meeting.

 

The DMH MAT Provider gathers information for the Summary of Findings (SOF) report via staff engagement, family engagement and additional interviews with parents, caregivers and through observation of the identified child(ren). The DCFS CSAT staff will coordinate and confirm a date for the MAT CFT, based on the family’s availability, with the Continuing Services CSW. Twenty-four (24) business hours before the MAT meeting, the DMH MAT Provider provides the DCFS CSAT CSA I with a copy of the draft SOF Report and Initial CANS document for review by the team members. The team reviews the findings at the MAT CFT meeting through the course of the CFT agenda including the following:

 

The CSW facilitates the CFT meeting where MAT findings are presented. The meeting runs about 1.5-2 hours, depending on the number of children in the family and may include any of the following core team members:

 

All members who attend the MAT CFT Meeting must sign the Confidentiality Declaration.

 

If members of the MAT CFT assessment team cannot reach a consensus in the MAT CFT Meeting, the MAT Provider and CSW will present the conflict to the SCSW for a proposed resolution. If no decision is reached at the SCSW level, the case will be referred to the ARA. If no decision is reached at the ARA level, the case will be referred to the RA. If no decision is reached at the RA level, the case will be referred to the DCFS Medical Director or their designee for final resolution.

 

Based on the final agreements concluded in the MAT CFT Meeting, the DMH MAT Provider revises the draft SOF Report during the meeting and submits one (1) copy of the final MAT SOF Report to the DCFS CSAT CSA I . Additionally, the MAT Provider’s CANS is finalized with the team during the debrief meeting and provided to the Continuing Services CSW for entry into CWS CARES as an updated CANS. The DMH MAT Provider submits the final MAT SOF within 30-45 days after acceptance of the completed referral packet.

Back to Policy

PROCEDURE

A MAT Eligible Child is Detained

ER CSW Responsibilities

  1. When a detention takes place, submit the Mental Health Referral (MHR) in the DCFS Referral Portal. Be sure to upload the following documents as attachments:

 

  1. Explain the MAT process to the parent or guardian (this can be done during the Child and Family Team (CFT) meeting).

 

  1. Provide the parent or guardian with a MAT brochure or the Introduction to MAT for Parents and Caregivers (available in English and Spanish).

 

  1. Ask the family if they are engaged with any service providers (medical, dental, developmental, hearing/language, education, mental health, etc.).
  1. If they are, explain that the service provider’s input will be requested to help determine the needs of the child and the family.

 

  1. Obtain parent(s) signatures on the DCFS 179-MH, Parental Consent for Child’s Mental Health/Developmental Assessment and Participation in Mental Health/Developmental Services and the DCFS 179-PHI, Authorization for Disclosure of Child’s Protected Health Information.

 

  1. If the parent or legal guardian signed the DCFS 179-MH and the DCFS 179-PHI prior to the detention hearing, document the following in the “Reasonable EffortsThe law requires child welfare agencies to make reasonable efforts to provide services that will help families remedy the conditions that brought the child and family into the child welfare system. It is based upon a standard of reasonableness, which is a subjective test of what a reasonable person would do in the individual circumstance, taking all factors into account. This includes conducting a Due Diligence search to locate parents whose whereabouts are unknown. and/or Prior Interventions/Services Offered” section of the Detention Report:

 

  1. If the parent or legal guardian declined or is unavailable to sign the DCFS 179-MH and the DCFS 179-PHI prior to the detention hearing, document the following in the  “Reasonable Efforts and/or Prior Interventions/Services Offered” section of the Detention Report:

 

  1. Add the following language under the “Recommendation” section of the Detention Report:

“It is respectfully recommended that the court make the following order:” “The court orders a mental health and/or developmental assessment of the child(ren) (insert child(ren’s) name here) to be performed by a licensed mental health professional within the State DMH approved disciplines. Further, the developmental assessment of the child(ren) may be performed by an approved Regional Center provider.

 

The above referenced mental health and/or developmental assessment is to be used solely for the purpose of coordinating/providing treatment and/or other services for the child(ren).

 

Upon recommendation of the approved professional, necessary mental health and/or developmental treatment is authorized and DCFS is to secure services to be provided by a licensed mental health professional within the State DMH approved disciplines, or a qualified person under the direction of a licensed mental health professional within the State DMH approved disciplines. Further, necessary mental health and/or developmental treatment may be provided by Regional Center staff or an approved Regional Center provider. The child(ren) is referred for mental health and/or developmental treatment.

 

This order does not apply to administration of psychotropic medications.

 

The child(ren)’s service provider shall provide DCFS with information relevant to the care and treatment of the child(ren) upon request by DCFS. Such information shall not include the details of therapeutic sessions or statements made by the child(ren) unless otherwise required by law. Further pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5328.04 and Civil Code Section 56.103 information disclosed pursuant to this order may not be admitted into evidence in any criminal or delinquency proceeding against the child. Nothing in this order shall prohibit identical evidence derived from other lawful means from being admissible in a criminal proceeding.

 

DCFS is to regularly update this Court, all parties to this case, and their legal counsel, regarding the status of the mental health and/or developmental assessment and treatment authorized pursuant to this order.”

Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

The Continuing Services CSW must complete the following steps for 2-Pen cases:

 

  1. When a detention takes place, submit the Mental Health Referral (MHR) in the DCFS Referral Portal. Be sure to upload the following documents as attachments:

 

  1. Prior to completing the initial case plan, communicate with the DMH Provider to formulate the initial case plan that will most likely reflect the final MAT Summary of Findings Report.

ER SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Confirm that the following steps were completed:
  1. The CSW submitted the Mental Health Referral (MHR) and all appropriate attachments to the CSAT team via the DCFS Referral Portal.
  1. The family was informed about the MAT process and efforts have been made to obtain the parent(s) signature on the DCFS 179-MH and DCFS 179-PHI.
  1. Any information requested by the DCFS CSAT CSA I has been provided.

 

  1. Review the Detention Report to confirm that the correct language recommending the MAT order is included.
  1. If everything is correct, approve the Detention Report.
  1. If not, return to the ER CSW to make required changes.

Back to Procedure

The Court Did Not Order a MAT Assessment on a MAT Eligible Child

DI Responsibilities

  1. If not already completed, obtain authorization (signature) from the parent(s) or guardian by completing the:
  1. DCFS 179-MH, Parental Consent for Child’s Mental Health/Developmental Assessment and Participation in Mental Health/Developmental Services, and
  2. DCFS 179-PHI, Authorization for Disclosure of Child’s Protected Health Information.

 

  1. If the parent(s) or guardian is not available to sign for authorization, call County Counsel  on the case to request authorization for a mental health and/or developmental assessment and/or services, and disclosure of the child’s protected health information from the court.

Receiving MAT Identified Cases

Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

  1. Maintain frequent and continuing communication with the DI.

 

  1. Provide the MAT DMH Provider and the DCFS CSAT CSA I with any necessary case information when requested.

 

  1. Respond to scheduling inquiries promptly so that CSAT can schedule the MAT CFT staff engagement meeting.

 

  1. Coordinate family engagement meeting with MAT DMH Provider.

 

  1. Communicate final MAT CFT date with CSAT Scheduler for coordination of MAT CFT.

 

  1. Facilitate the MAT CFT meeting and Debrief.

 

  1. If the final MAT Summary of Findings report is completed (after the Disposition Hearing), and a DI is no longer assigned to the case, provide the court with an update on the MAT assessment.

Continuing Services SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Lead CFT Staff Engagement meeting per CFT policy.

 

  1. Facilitate the MAT CFT Meeting, if the CSW is not available.

 

  1. Ensure that the CSW is communicating with the DI and DCFS CSAT CSA I.

 

  1. Ensure that the CSW provides necessary case information to the DMH MAT Provider when requested.

DI/Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

In Vertical Case Management Units, the Continuing Services CSW must complete the DI responsibilities.

 

  1. Maintain ongoing communication with the following MAT Participants:

 

  1. Participate in the MAT CFT Staff Engagement and MAT CFT Meeting (if available).

 

  1. Facilitate MAT CFT meetings on ERCP cases per CFT policy.

 

  1. When the MAT assessment is complete, update the court on the status of the MAT assessment via the Jurisdiction/Disposition Report, and:
  1. Incorporate the final Summary of Findings (SOF) into the court recommendations.
  1. If the initial case plan is significantly altered by the final MAT SOF Report, complete a case plan update.
  1. Attach the updated case plan to the court report.
  1. Attach the final SOF Report to the Jurisdictional/Disposition report.

 

  1. If the MAT assessment is not complete, remind the hearing officer that the assessment will take 30-45 days from the MAT referral date, and provide the court with the following information:

DI SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review and approve the Jurisdiction/Disposition report to ensure the following:

 

  1. Review and approve the case plan update (if applicable).

 

  1. Participate in the MAT Meeting if the DI is not available.

Back to Procedure

MAT Assessment Completed After the Initial Jurisdiction/ Disposition Court Date

DI Responsibilities

  1. For a Pre-Disposition Case:
  1. If the Jurisdiction/Disposition hearing was postponed to a later date to enable receipt of the MAT results, attach the final MAT Summary of Findings report and incorporate  it into the court recommendations and case plan for the family.
  1. If the initial case plan is significantly changed by the final MAT Summary of Findings Report, complete a case plan update.

Continuing Services CSW Responsibilities

  1. For a Post-Disposition Case:
  1. Walk on the final MAT Summary of Findings (SOF) Report using the MAT Court Cover (available on CWS/CMS under LA County specific templates).
  1. Indicate if DCFS is recommending modifications to existing court orders.
  1. If the initial case plan is significantly changed by the final MAT SOF Report, complete a case plan update.
  1. Attach the updated case plan to the court report.

Continuing Services SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review and approve the court report to confirm that the recommendations in the final MAT Summary of Findings (SOF) Report are incorporated in to the court recommendations.
  1. If not, instruct the CSW to make the required changes.

 

  1. Review and approve the case plan update to ensure that the recommendations in the final MAT SOF Report are incorporated in the case plan.
  1. If not, instruct the CSW to make the required changes.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

CWS/CMS

Detention Report

Jurisdiction/Disposition Report

Supplemental Report

MAT Court Cover (LA County specific templates)

LA Kids

MAT Brochure

DCFS 179-MH, Parental Consent for Child’s Mental Health/Developmental Assessment and Participation in Mental Health/Developmental Services (all available in Spanish)

DCFS 179-PHI, Authorization for Disclosure of Child’s Protected Health Information (also available in Spanish)

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-548.00, Community-Based Resources

0070-548.01, Child and Family Teams

0080-502.10, Case Plans

0600-500.20, Health and Medical InformationAs defined by Civil Code (CIV) Section 56.05(g), is any individually identifiable information, in electronic or physical form, in possession of or derived from a provider of health care, health care service plan, pharmaceutical company, or contractor regarding a patient’s medical history, mental or physical condition, or treatment. This does not include psychotherapy notes (notes made by the therapist about a private therapy session that are kept separate from the rest of the patient’s medical record). These notes are subject to additional privacy protections and cannot be disclosed by therapists even in situations where other PHI may be disclosed.

Back to Helpful Links