Eligibility for Services

Document Number: COUNS--104pr
Revision #: 2.0
Document Owner: Dean of Students
Date Last Updated: 12/22/2017
Primary Author: Director of Counseling/Disability Services/Disability Services Center
Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 02/16/2012
General Description

Description / Scope: Information about the intake process relative to Counseling Center policy, process, and procedure.

When Performed: As needed

Responsibilities: Counseling Services
Process Steps or Stages

1. Eligibility for Services

What happens:
Any student who is currently enrolled and registered at Cumberland University is eligible for counseling services at CUCC.

Faculty and staff are also eligible for counseling services on a limited basis to include consultation, assessment, and facilitation of a referral.

Who Performs / Responsibility:
Counseling Services

1.1 Minors

What happens:

Legally in the State of Tennessee, minors age 16 or above may seek health services without the consent of parent or guardian. However, because the law of Tennessee requires that certain criteria be met that assures the ability of the minor to consent to the services and because the parent or guardian is considered the owner of the privilege in these situations, the policy of the Counseling Center is not to offer services to minors under age 18 unless parent or guardian consent is obtained. The Director may consider exceptions to this policy in emergency situations. In emergency situations, it may be necessary to provide crisis intervention, but on-going services cannot be offered without parent or guardian consent.

2. Intake

What happens:
Students or staff may request services at CUCC by calling or emailing to schedule an appointment or by coming to the office. Individuals are seen on a first-come, first-served basis during hours that the counselor is not already seeing other clients, with the exception of crisis situations which are always given priority over walk-in or regularly scheduled appointments.

At the beginning of the first visit, the student or staff is given a Client Information Handout (Appendix A) that provides information regarding counseling services and confidentiality matters. The counselor will discuss and have the student or staff sign the Informed Consent and Confidentiality Form (Appendix B).

The counselor will then begin the intake procedure, which includes determining how best to help the student address his/her problem. The most helpful approach for the student may be referral to an outside therapist, doctor, and/or psychiatrist. The intake procedure sometimes requires more than one session.

Walk-ins are welcome if the counselor is available for at least 30 minutes to provide a quick assessment and schedule a regular intake appointment. Clients will be made aware of the information regarding after-hours and emergency contacts contained in the Client Information Handout.

Clients who will not provide information on their history or next of kin will not be seen for continued service beyond an extended intake unless an exception is granted. Any exceptions must be determined by consultation with counseling staff and/or the Director. Clients who will not sign the informed consent form will not be seen beyond an evaluation.

2.1 Assigning New Clients

What happens:
Clients are assigned to counselors or referred to other services in the community based on the intake evaluation. Client assignment within CUCC depends upon the availability of counseling staff and/or the problem or concern for which the client is seeking help (i.e., career, eating disorders, trauma). Subsequent appointments to see a CUCC counselor are scheduled at the close of the intake session unless there is a waiting list.

If the CUCC has multiple counselors and/or counseling interns, the client may request a particular counselor, and every effort will be made to accommodate that request. However, the request is not guaranteed, as many other factors may affect client assignment, such as counselor availability, counselor expertise, and even the reason for the request.

2.2 Referral Outside the Counseling Center

What happens:
Generally, clients who are unlikely to benefit from time-limited therapy, or require more intensive monitoring than can reasonably be offered by the Center will be referred to an outside provider referral (see Appendix C for a list of Referral Criteria). Students’ lack of financial resources will be considered when making the decision to refer, as will the clinical needs of the client and the limited resources of CUCC. If a client presents with a number of the risk factors listed in Appendix C, referral based on sound clinical judgment and consultation with other staff will be considered. It is important to remember that providing intake evaluation, forming a clinical decision believed to be in the best interest of the client, and making a referral is the provision of service, not a refusal of service.

2.3 Follow-Up from Intake Evaluation

What happens:
If a student who has been referred to another counselor following an Intake Evaluation session does not show for the first appointment, the counselor should notify the person who conducted the intake of either a no-show or cancellation without rescheduling. The counselor who performed the intake evaluation decides on whether and what type of follow-up contact is needed with the student. This may be either letter or phone call and is particularly important if the student's issues require that an effort be made to facilitate prompt intervention (i.e., danger to self or others).

2.4 Mandated Assessments

What happens:
The Director of the Counseling Center conducts mandated assessments of students as requested by the Dean of Students, Athletic Director, Director of Residence Life, or CU Coaching Staff due to an adjudicated judicial case against a student. A student who is mandated to the Counseling Center is informed that s/he is required to participate in the assessment process only as part of the judicial case adjudication and that engaging in follow-up counseling services is voluntary. All students who are adjudicated to a mandated assessment due to an alcohol policy infraction are assessed using the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) model (see Appendix Y).

Associated Documents:

COUNS--104pr_APPENDIX A CUCC Client Information

COUNS--104pr_APPENDIX B CUCC Informed Consent and Confidentiality Form

COUNS--104pr_APPENDIX C CUCC Criteria for Outside Referral


Performance Metrics
Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure
Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Dean of Students

Director of Counseling/Disability Services/Disability Services Center
This document pertains to the following regulations:
Standards of good practice
University governance