When a Judge orders an evaluation of a court-involved youth, the following takes place:
- The Judge informs the youth, family, and attorney in court that a Court Clinic evaluation has been ordered.
- The Judge and probation officer complete a referral form and submit it to the Juvenile Court Clinic, along with information from the probation intake process.
- The Juvenile Court Clinic assigns the case to a Juvenile Court Clinician. Depending upon the number of cases referred at a particular time, the assignment may not occur for several weeks after the receipt of the referral from the court.
- The clinician will contact both the attorney and the family/guardians of the youth to notify them of their assignment. The clinician will also set up an initial appointment to meet with the youth and family/guardian. The attorney may or may not be present for this appointment, depending upon the wishes of the youth and family/guardian.
- During the initial appointment, the clinician will meet with the youth and his/her family or guardians. The clinician will explain the evaluation process and also gather information from the youth and family members present. The clinician will ask a parent/guardian to sign releases of information so that she/he may contact outside sources to collect additional information related to the youth. These sources may include school personnel, outside counselors, or psychologists, hospitals, and medical doctors.
- After the initial meeting, the clinician may schedule additional appointments. The clinician will likely schedule a time to meet separately with just the youth and also a time to meet separately with just the parent/guardian. Again, the purpose of these meetings will be to gather information to prepare a report for the Court.
- The clinician will then prepare a report to be submitted to the Court for the youth's next court date. The report will contain information gathered during the evaluation process, in addition to recommendations to help the youth and family. Prior to submitting the evaluation to the court, the clinician will review the recommendations with the parent/guardian.
- The completed report is the property of the Court and is filed with the Clerk Magistrate. It can only be released with a Judge's order.
- If additional assistance in accessing services is needed, the clinician may do follow-up work with the youth and family once the case has been heard in Court. For more information about what happens after an evaluation is completed, see our page on Education and Advocacy.