SBHC providers should annually assess children and adolescents to gauge potential environmental, social, emotional, and behavioral threats to their wellbeing; create opportunities to intervene early; and organize a response for students who are at highest or immediate risk for harm.
Annual Risk Assessment Case Examples
SBHC providers in Connecticut implemented routine Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services (RAAPS) screenings of clients to identify students with risk behaviors who might have been missed for intervention they hadn’t been screened. These providers not only identified students with behavioral health needs, but also those who were being bullied, physically or sexually abused, or engaging in risky sexual behaviors.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are some promising strategies I can use to increase the number of SBHC clients who receive an annual risk assessment?
- Conduct a risk assessment at every new patient visit then annually thereafter.
- Deliver a risk assessment in conjunction with other SBHC visits, including but not limited to the well-child visit.
- Identify SBHC clients who have had a documented WCV in the past 12 months but don’t have any risk assessment documentation. Schedule risk assessments with those clients.
- If your SBHC has the ability to conduct the necessary follow-up, work with your school administrators to complete risk assessments of all students.
- Collaborate with a network of mental health providers to complete screening and follow-up, especially if the number of students with needs exceeds your available staff resources.
- When screening for risk behaviors, use an electronic tool such as a tablet or computer so both the medical and behavioral health providers can access the results of the screen.
- Choose an age-appropriate risk assessment tool. For children, consider Bright Futures tools such as the Pediatric Symptom Checklist or the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaires. For adolescents, consider RAAPS or Just Health. Your state may also have a tool it recommends or requires.
- Take advantage of technology. Use youth-friendly electronic tools like tablets or computers to administer risk assessments.
If a risk assessment is part of well-child visit (WCV), how can I separate it in order to report it?
- If your comprehensive WCV already includes a risk assessment, you can count those visits toward the number of students with a risk screen.
- You can also create a discrete field in your EHR to note that a risk assessment was completed as a separate service from the WCV.