We asked about your own efforts to assess (via standardized measures) “adulting” (functioning, independence, etc).  I asked specifically about those using the DLA-20, and how functional assessments themselves vary in their intent (e.g., is it to understand right level of service fit; or to actually gather information to guide how to best target service supports and interventions?).   We received 29 responses, representing 12 states.  Most everyone reported “yes” to the question:  “Do you use any assessment tool to assess adulting/community participation/functioning?”  Of my “yes” respondents, a handful indicated that the functional assessment was embedded in a much larger assessment and was limited in scope and depth (i.e., not tremendously useful). 

Eight (8) respondents indicated that they complete the DLA-20, and most indicated that it served to guide interventions and supports more than it served to determine the right level of service (i.e., ACT or something else).  Most were completing /updating the DLA-20 quarterly and that it took an experienced user 10-15 minutes to complete for follow-ups (the initial can take much longer).  DLA-20 users varied in how useful they found it (sometimes critiquing that it is not fully used in the way it could be; questioning who should be primary source of data (client self-report; team member evaluation and judgement); challenge in capturing real change and impact given common fluctuations among people with serious mental illness — hard to fully see positive impact over time when looking at status every 90 days).

I wanted to pass on other assessments people reported to be using and with positive endorsements:

Sounds like there are options out there — and room for even better options to emerge.  We will continue to follow-up on this (and don’t forget we have a Discussion Forum!!!  A great place to follow a thread/contribute to a conversation).  Wishing that you had contributed your thoughts and ideas?  You still can here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ADULTINGassessmnt

– Lorna


photo by Holger Link

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