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Clinically thoughtful, person-centered assessment and planning is at the heart of any evidence-based practice. Helping people with their recovery entails knowing more about what recovery means to them – what are their personal goals.

Careful assessment helps us better understand a person’s goals, while also understanding presenting and historical challenges and personal strengths. Information should be gathered from the person and a variety of sources, and cut across life domains. With this information, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams develop thoughtful interpretive summaries, in turn guiding intervention planning.

Simply put, assessment is understanding the “what.” Creating an interpretive summary helps capture the “so what.” The plan is the “now what?” of service delivery.

Understanding both barriers and challenges, as well as strengths, is key. Barriers reflect symptoms, behaviors, and functional impairments – all of which reflect medical necessity criteria – as well as lack of resources and problematic environmental circumstances. When understanding these barriers, specific interventions can be planned for and carried out.

ACT is intentionally staffed with multiple disciplines so that a full array of service is delivered as it is expected that ACT consumers need and want a variety of services given their more complex needs and functioning. With stronger assessment and planning practices and more tailored scheduling of staff time, one would expect to see higher rates of penetration of specialized services and more thoughtful assignment of team members. Resulting PCPs should serve as a functional “roadmap,” guiding the team in what they are doing, when, and with whom.

Learn More about strengths-based, person-centered assessment and planning practices through these resources.