Juvenile Court Ordered Evaluations
T.C.A. Section 37-1-128(e) provides authority to juvenile courts to order mental health evaluations of youth. In 1998, the department began collaboration with juvenile courts to provide evaluations by contract providers in the community, when possible. Shortly thereafter, the department established performance standards and began monitoring the quality of evaluations.
Juvenile Court ordered evaluations determine if the youth is mentally ill, identify mental health care and treatment needs, find resources to provide those services, and address the need for voluntary or involuntary commitment for inpatient or residential services. By statute, inpatient evaluations are limited to a maximum of thirty (30) days for completion. Outpatient evaluations are provided by a statewide network of community mental health agencies contracted by TDMH.