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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the triage assessment, a structured way for mental health consultants to conceptualize concerns identified via developmental screening processes and frame feedback to support family engagement with next steps. This chapter (a) describes the rationale, goals, and critical elements of triage assessments; (b) suggests pragmatic guidelines for implementation; and (c) discusses lessons learned from experience conducting triage assessments in community settings, including the importance of promoting family engagement and considerations for increasing sustainability. This chapter describes work conducted in pediatric primary care clinics serving young children at high risk for adverse developmental, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes. However, the purpose, essential components, and structure of triage assessments are relevant as second-stage screening practices for all settings. As screening becomes broadly implemented, the triage assessment helps providers respond to red flag concerns highlighted by first-stage screening practices and support families to get help to address these concerns.

Keywords: developmental screening, mental health consultation, implementation, sustainability, family engagement

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