Starter Program

(Short Term Adolescent Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment)

Palmetto Summerville’s short term assessment is for children and teens, ages 7-21. Through this diagnostic assessment, staff takes a proactive approach in assisting youth and their families in the development of an individualized care plan. Core clinical issues are identified and comprehensive recommendations for targeted treatment are provided during the initial stages of placement. This plan is designed to increase the effectiveness of subsequent service delivery and reduce the overall period of time a youth is separated from their family.


The current suite of services will be empirically evidenced based measures to provide a clear diagnostic profile on the (25th) day of placement in the presence of a clinical review team which includes case coordinators of the referring agency. The goal of the meeting will be to have a plan of transition in place with the potential for arranging community based providers if follow up services are deemed appropriate. Services will include, but not limited to:

  • Clinical Interviews are completed. These structured interviews are used to evaluate the client’s history, strengths, and presenting problems.
  • Full Psychological Evaluation will be completed by a licensed psychologist.
  • The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) is used to assess the probability of developing a substance abuse or substance dependence disorder.
  • The Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC) designed to measure symptoms, including post-traumatic stress and related psychological symptoms.
  • Children’s Depression Inventory-Revised measures the presence and severity of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents.
  • Conners Rating Scales provide a comprehensive, versatile assessment of problem behavior with ratings from multiple respondents covering home and school situations.
  • Each youth will also receive standard admission assessments, such as History and Physical, Psychiatric Assessment and medication management, Nursing Assessment, Restorative Independent Living Skills Assessment, Elopement and Suicide Assessment, Psycho-social Assessment, and Recreation Assessment.

The STARTER program is unique in that by design it provides a rapid response to referring agencies with the end goal of having medical and clinical assessments completed in a short time frame (30 days) with recommendations for continued care, medication stabilization and transition planning. This assessment/evaluation program will have a core suite of services that can be tailored to the individual request of the referring agency or parent. If needed, youth may transition into the 60-90 program.