A diagnostic assessment is typically an hour-long face-to-face interview with a client, or in the case of a child, the client and his/her parents(s). Information gathered includes: presenting problem, history of problem, symptoms, functional impairment, developmental history, socio-emotional development, history of abuse or neglect, medical and mental health history, chemical use, and current and past medications used. A diagnostic assessment results in a diagnosis, along with recommendations for future treatment, and is necessary to determine a recipient's eligibility for mental health services.
Also referred to as psychological testing, a psychological assessment is a process that includes a diagnostic assessment, or face-to-face interview, and uses standardized tests to help form hypotheses about a person’s behavior, personality, and capabilities. A psychological assessment is a longer process and may take up to six hours or more, but produces more in-depth and often subconscious information. Psychologists are the only professionals who are expertly trained to interpret psychological test data. A report detailing the person's level of functioning and recommendations for the future treatment is generated.
Testing for learning disorders
Individuals are referred for a parenting assessment to determine level of parental capacity.
The components (process) of parenting assessments typically include:
· A review of the history of the case through file documents and/or consultation with the referring agency
· A clinical interview with the parent(s)
· Psychological testing appropriate to the referral question
· Observation of the parent-child relationship and interactions
· Collateral contacts with various services providers in the case
The referral questions provided by the referral source guide the assessment process.