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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Residential Mental Health Assessment Process Working Well with Minor Delays, Report No. 03-03, January 2003
Full report in PDF format

Prior to 2000, procedures for placing a child in residential mental health facilities lacked standard criteria, allowed potential provider conflicts of interest, and did not provide reviews to prevent children from languishing in treatment.

OPPAGA reviewed the new process required by Ch. 2000-265, Laws of Florida as implemented by the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration. Pursuant to Ch. 2000-265, Laws of Florida, the Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Health Care Administration implemented a new process for assessing dependent children for placement in residential mental health treatment facilities. OPPAGA found that

  • the majority of children assessed between December 2001 and November 2002 were recommended for more intensive residential treatment rather than community-based treatment;
  • assessment costs are set by contract with a private firm and do not vary across the state;
  • delays do occur in the assessment process, but are not substantial; and
  • there is no need to expand the professional groups who conduct assessments.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Agency for Health Care Administration
Family Safety
Mental Health Services

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 05-17 OPPAGA Report: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation Has Not Addressed Its Responsibilities Fully, published in March 2005.
  • Report No. 05-07 Centralizing DCF Substance Abuse and Mental Health Programs Provides Benefits But Also Challenge, published in February 2005.
  • Report No. 04-67 Progress Report: DCF Implements Recommendations, But Some Delays Still Occurring in Residential Mental Health Assessment Process, published in September 2004.
  • Report No. 02-16 Progress Report of Justification Review: Child Protection Program, Department of Children and Families, published in March 2002.
  • Report No. 01-14 Justification Review: Child Protection Program, published in March 2001.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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