Child Guidance Clinic
The Child Guidance Clinic provides mental health evaluations and reports to probation officers and judges of the Family Court.
Children who are four to eighteen years old and under the jurisdiction of the Family Court are eligible for Clinic services. The Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of Court Building B, which is located at 510 4th Street, NW. The clients are seen on an outpatient basis by appointment only.
Referrals for psychological evaluations or individual counseling are made by court order. Once evaluations are completed they sent to the judge, the prosecutor, the defense counsel, and probation officer. Individual counseling is performed at the three satellite offices, in the northwest, northeast and southeast quadrants of the city, as well as in the Family Court Social Services Division main offices in Court Building B.
The Child Guidance Clinic staff also run the juvenile anger management groups and the juvenile sex offender group (Sex Abuse Violates Everyone (SAVE)).
How do I...
Get more information on mental health evaluations?
The Family Court Social Services Division’s Child Guidance Clinic provides comprehensive clinical and forensic psychological evaluations, including assessments of a child’s intellectual, educational, and personality functioning.
The Child Guidance Clinic provides the following types of evaluations: General, psycho-educational, competency to stand trial, competency to waive Miranda rights, parenting capacity, neuropsychological, violence risk, sex offender, waiver of juvenile jurisdiction.
Prepare my child for an evaluation at the Clinic?
A good night’s rest prior to testing is essential. Your child should also have a nutritious breakfast before arriving to the Clinic.
get my child to a court-ordered evaluation?
The Child Guidance Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of Court Building B at 510 4th Street, NW. The deputy clerks will send an appointment letter to your home and will also make a courtesy reminder call the evening before the day of the appointment. Appointments are required. The phone number for the Child Guidance Clinic is 202 508-1787 or 202 508-1781. If your child is being held at the Youth Services Center, a Child Guidance Clinic staff member will travel to YSC to administer psychological evaluations. If your child was placed at a Youth Shelter House, staff there will be notified by the Child Guidance Clinic to bring your child to his or her appointment.
Participate in this evaluation process?
Yes, you are a valuable source of information about your child and your input on what his/her development has been like and what you think he/she needs now will be part of the evaluation. Clinic staff may also ask you to fill out some forms about your child. If your child is old enough and capable of returning to school or home on his own, you do not have to remain the entire time. The Clinic recognizes that parents have to work or have other children to attend; thus, the time spent in this process for the parents is generally limited to (1) one hour or less.
Get services or intervention that the evaluation determines my child needs?
The Clinic can provide individual counseling, on a limited basis for those youth who are underinsured or have no insurance. The counseling sessions are typically conducted at the office nearest to the home of the child or in Court Building B, at 515 5th Street, NW.
Get intervention services for my child if the evaluation shows sex offending behavior?
The Child Guidance Clinic conducts interventions for sex offending behavior upon order of the judge. The group sessions run 13 weeks usually on Thursday evenings from 5 pm to 6:30 pm for the youth (the youth are provided dinner). There is also a required component for the parents to assist you in dealing with a child in the home who has exhibited sexual offending behavior. The support group sessions run from approximately 7-8 pm on the same night (Thursday).
Get my child Court-ordered evaluations that the Child Guidance Clinic does not provide?
Psychiatric, Speech-Language, Neurological, Physical, and Sleep Study assessments may be routinely ordered, but the Clinic does not provide these evaluations. However, the Clinic does process the court-ordered request, in electronic form, directly from the Courtroom. The requested Court Order is sent to the DC Department of Health Care Finance (DC HCF) and DC HCF looks up the insurer and makes that referral directly to the youth’s insurance agency (typically Medicaid or Fee for Service). If the youth is uninsured, the DC Department of Mental Health provides the psychiatric evaluation for DC youth.