Assessment & Diagnostic Services

This process consists of four phases:

I. History

  • Gathering and review of documentation of high risk behaviors including aggression, suicidal ideation and attempts, and self-harming behaviors
  • Clinical interviews of the resident, family members, community support persons with a knowledge of the resident’s past and current behaviors and life events.



II. Assessment Tools

Hallmark Youthcare uses research based assessment tools in evaluating the needs of our residents.

  • Strengths assessment (BERS)
  • Psychological testing (variety of research based tools used by Licensed Clinical Psychologist)
  • Substance abuse/Chemical Dependency assessment (SASSI)
  • Life Skills (Ansell Casey)
  • Recreational Assessment
  • Psychosexual Assessment as needed
  • Nutritional Assessment, if indicated following initial dietary screening

III. Expert Clinical Evaluation

Psychiatric evaluation Performed by Board Certified Psychiatrist

  • Health history (Performed by Pediatrician and Registered Nurses)
  • Educational history and assessment (Conducted by Certified Teachers)
  • Recreational Assessment (Conducted by Therapeutic Recreation Specialist).
  • Psychosocial Assessment, (performed by Master’s prepared, licensed or license-eligible Program Therapists) which includes
  • Family and Social History
  • Developmental History
  • Substance Abuse History
  • Previous or current legal issues
  • Clinical formulation (Formulated by Qualified Mental Health Professional and Psychiatrist)
  • Additional collateral information

IV. Summary and Recommendations

The Treatment Team, led by the attending psychiatrist and comprised of the psychologist, clinical therapist, nurse, teacher , treatment team specialist, and activity therapist, review all information and discuss recommendations.
A formal, written, comprehensive summary is provided to the referral source following the completion of all assessments, clinical interviews, and the review and interpretation of information. Recommendations for services required to meet the needs of the youth are provided.

Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency Services

Good treatment begins with accurate evaluation. We provide

  • Comprehensive assessment and evaluation by licensed professionals with experience in treating substance abuse and chemical dependency.

Philosophy/our treatment approach

Teenagers tend to believe they are invincible. The concept of “hitting bottom” is too abstract and remote for most of them. Our Clinical Team has researched evidence-based practices for treating substance abuse in adolescents. The following treatments have been identified by the Virginia Commission on Youth as effective evidence-based treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapyhappy-girl
  • Family Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Medication

In addition to employing all of these approaches, Hallmark Youthcare also offers

  • 24 hour support and supervision
  • Personal plan for recovery
  • Group therapy
  • Education on disease and recovery
  • Activities therapy
  • 12 step AA program on site
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Individualized aftercare plan


Substance abuse/chemical dependency services are incorporated into the general Residential Treatment Program.