Policy Manual



Type: Procedure                 Category: Service Delivery                 Level: Community Care 

Parties: Community Care employees and contractees

Printer Friendly Version: http://apps.comcareme.org/policymanual/default.aspx?code=3.MEP.47&nonav=yes

Supporting References: COA General Standards G1.2.04, G8.1.01/.02/.03, G8.2.03, DBDS Residential Licensing Rules Section E 1-5; Child Placing Licensing Rules Section 15; Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services who are Children in need of Treatment Section A.V.,Section B.IV., Section C.III.; Program Standards for Tx Foster Care page 19.

Parent Effective Date Approval Level Revision Dates Last Reviewed
N/A  3-25-2004  Management Team  none  N/A
Related Document Code Related Document Name Type
3.MEP.2 Service Documentation Procedure

Procedure:  .

There will be a program specific response, beginning with referral, continuing through to a decision to admit or deny admission, and for the first 30 days following admission for any referral made to Community Care. To reduce barriers in making timely responses to referrals, Community Care will regularly update the available/open bed list, the available staff list, and will communicate such updates to the Intake staff including the emergency pager list when appropriate. Additionally, as much as possible, Community Care will work with the public authority to place children in foster care and residential programs as close as possible to family members with whom they will be visiting, and will attempt to place siblings together.


  1. Upon receiving a referral for client placement or services within any program at Community Care, an initial screening will be conducted. (Please use appropriate Referral, Intake and Screening forms for the specified program.)
  2. Information collected during referrals will include, but is not limited to, the following: Date and Time of Referral; Full Name of individual being referred; Birth Date; Age; Gender; Medicaid Number (or other insurance information); Social Security Number; Referral Source; Name of Legal Guardian; Address of Legal Guardian; Telephone number of Legal Guardian; Name of person referring; Telephone number of person referring; Program or service being referred to-identify least restrictive setting possible; and region or area being sought for placement or services.
  3. Once referral information has been completed, a determination will be made regarding whether or not there is an appropriate available bed and/or service provider to meet the needs of the referred client. If there is no appropriate placement and/or service provider to meet the needs of the referred party, the employee taking the referral will communicate this to the referring party. The referring party will be provided with names of other organizations who provide a similar service and then be placed on a waiting list.
  4. When it is identified that the referral information collected about an individual helps identify an appropriate placement and/or service provider, the employee will begin screening the individual being referred for appropriateness of program placement or service needed.
  5. Basic information will be gathered for the specific program being considered including, but not limited to, the following: Court/custody status; Therapy or counseling needs; Personal care needs, Behavioral/emotional/presenting conditions; Education and Educational needs, Known Interventions; Medical/Physical conditions; Known communicable diseases; safety concerns, and Visitation needs. A disposition of the referral will be made again at this point If the decision is made to terminate the process by either the Community Care intake person or the referral source, no further action will be taken by the intake person other than to communicate to the system the referral information gathered.

6.      If the decision is to move forward, other program/service specific information will then be sought. This information request will include: Basic Client info such as Diagnosis including Axis I, Axis II, Axis III, Axis IV, and Axis V; Religion; Birth place; Primary Language; Ancestry/Culture; Current Living situation; Educational status including current grade and school placement; Brief life history including known abuse and/or neglect, Juvenile Justice System Involvement, important relationships, likes and dislikes, etc.; Physical and Mental Health Information including history, current medications, allergies, name of current physician and dentist, date of last known doctor visit, date of last known dental visit, current or past therapists, etc.; Current custody and guardianship including legal status; Name of GAL; Current permanency plan; Next court date scheduled; Placement history; Allowable contact; Prohibited contact; Potential family involvement with placement or services and family's needs to support placement; Biological Family Information; Planning information including team meeting schedule, emergency planning needs, visitation needs, expected date of discharge or termination of services, etc.; and Any other information known or needed to facilitate best practice in serving client.

  1. For all programs the list below should be used as a basis for gathering information during the intake/admission process. Any part of the procedure not required by program licensing may be omitted:

        A referral is received and the intake person does the initial using the appropriate Community Care program form, and other screening to determine appropriateness of referral).

        This screening is compared to the available bed list or to the availability of program service information to see if there is an appropriate placement or provider to match the need.

        A decision is made at this point whether to move forward or terminate; the response at this time is based on ability of the agency to meet the need. At each juncture, up to a decision to accept the referral, the intake process will include a determination regarding whether to move forward or to terminate the process.

        Moving forward, the intake person will check with the appropriate program members to discuss the potential placement or service provision. (In the case of foster care referrals, if program members are in agreement, this discussion phase will include a discussion with the potential foster home to determine the willingness of the home to accept the referral.)

        If the decision is to move forward, the intake person will request additional information from the referral source (completing appropriate forms).

        All referral/intake forms must be entered into the client record.

        Program admission date and time is coordinated with the team and the guardian.

        A client information form will be filled out and submitted to the data system. This will activate the client within the system and will initiate further documents, as required by the program (e.g. the client placement agreement).

        Upon admission, the case coordinator (cc) or support worker will review the admission paperwork with the appropriate staff and insure that all forms are signed.

        Within 24 hours of admission Community Care will insure the notification of rights is given to the client and get signatures on the notification form and on the clients' rights form. (The notification forms include an informed consent statement).

        The assigned worker will go over the privacy notice with the client and/or guardian, and have the form appropriately signed.

        The intake person and/or the assigned worker will seek appropriate authorizations for the disclosure of protected information from the client and/or guardian for signature. These forms must include the name of the client, the specific information to be disclosed, who the information will be disclosed by and who it will be disclosed to, and either the client's date of birth or their social security number. These forms must be signed and dated and then entered into the client's record. An authorization form must exist for the exchange of all information prior to it being disclosed once the client is admitted to the program.

        The cc or assigned worker will facilitate or ensure the scheduling of all necessary initial appointments or meetings including initial doctor visit to occur within 30 days of placement (or as specified by program licensing rules), or as soon as possible, initial dental visit within 30 days of placement (or as specified by program licensing rules), or as soon as possible, school placement, any requested evaluations, initial team meeting to be held within 5 days of placement, completion of the preliminary treatment plan within 5 days of placement (or as specified by program licensing rules), an initial comprehensive assessment to be completed within 14 days of placement (or as required by program licensing rules, and an initial CBA (if the client is 14 years of age or older) to be completed within 30 days of admission.


Upon completion of this process the admissions procedures are complete.


8.      In programs where placement is not a consideration, such as Community Family Support Services, consideration of referrals is based on the identified eligibility criteria and the availability of service providers to serve the referral.

  1. In all cases priority to persons or families with urgent needs or in emergency situations will be given.
  2. The admissions process will make every attempt to ensure that all persons are treated equitably and without favoritism.
  3. Each Community Care program must have an established timeframe for providing screening, assessment, and service delivery. Information regarding eligibility, service availability, and/or delays in service provision must be communicated to the client, family, and/or legal guardian.
  4. When service provision is not available, the communication of this information may be accompanied by a list of other service providers or organizations that may be able to help or may be more appropriate. This step is not necessary for those programs where the DHS is making referrals for placement or services and such referrals are being made across all available programs within the area provider agencies.