Record Review  
FamilyLIght: Successor to Bridge to Understanding


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When we begin with any new client, we ask for copies of relevant records going back to birth.  We want to see comprehensively the records available in education, prior evaluations, work with therapists, medical issues, etc.  Teacher comments on elementary school report cards are important.   If our client has had more than one psychological evaluation, we want to see all of them, not just the most recent.  In addition, we ask the family to prepare an informal biography.  We say "biography," not "case summary" or clinical history" because we want to know about the person's strengths, accomplishments, and just what makes life interesting for that person. 


Clients  will ask if they should include a particular record. Our response is always, "If you must ask, then include it."  


We  do this for two reasons.  First we want to learn all we can about the client, early in the process.  This helps us to focus on the right issues when we get to the home visit.  Second, we often discover totally new information by comparing input from multiple sources.  Surprisingly, few other professionals who have worked with one of our clients have done a thorough records review and are looking at our client only through the lens of their own special area.   Very often we discover a path to success by combining the insights of people from a variety of disciplines. 


It is important that we have the opportunity to conduct this records review prior to the home visit, so we are better prepared to use the time in the home visit productively.  

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Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


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Last updated August 27, 2012 

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