Family Court Clinical Evaluation Unit

The court provides for the behavioral health needs of the child and his/her family by offering assessment, treatment and case monitoring services that will determine, in large measure, the outcome of the hearings. Cases are referred to Family Court (FC) for review by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS). When necessary, the court will order drug and alcohol assessments, which are conducted by clinical evaluation staff. The clinical evaluation unit assigned to FC also provides case monitoring services and process Medical Assistance (MA) applications for eligible participants. Clinical assessment and case monitoring services are available in all dependency courtrooms. The Clinical Evaluation Unit also conducts assessments and monitors treatment progress for adolescents from the Reasonable Efforts in Assessment, Access and Prevention (REAAP) Unit. Pennsylvania Act 53 permits the involuntary commitment of children under 18 to substance abuse treatment. Parents or legal guardians with a child may petition a judge to have the child assessed and placed into substance abuse treatment. A clinical evaluation report is submitted for consideration by the judge.


What is the purpose of the Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU) at Family Court?

The CEU allows for an on-site, objective, third party report on substance abuse treatment needs of Family Court participants by drug and alcohol professionals (case managers and evaluators). The CEU provides parents and children with evaluations for possible drug and alcohol treatment, recommendations for the appropriate levels of care and case monitoring for the purpose of court reporting on compliance throughout the treatment episode.

What is the referral process for Dependency Courts?

Referral to the drug and alcohol unit is available for any person who has a perceived or substantiated substance abuse problem/concern and is referred by the Judge.

What is the process in which the CEU conducts its assessments?

The DHS Worker or court personnel will escort the participant to the CEU to arrange an evaluation. The DHS Worker will present the CEU with a court order (DRO). The participant must provide a urine specimen prior to his/her evaluation. If the participant is unable to stay for the evaluation that day, then an appointment will be scheduled to return within two weeks.

What is Methadone Maintenance?

Methadone Maintenance is administered in an outpatient methadone maintenance clinic. The methadone prevents participants from experiencing Opiate withdraw, minimizes cravings and allows the participant access to other services such as drug and alcohol treatment, medical services and other services to enhance their lifestyle (employment/education).