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Child Abuse Research Education and Service Institute

Comprehensive Health Evaluation for Children

Assessment services for children entering foster care

The Comprehensive Health Evaluation for Children (CHEC) program identifies the physical, developmental and mental health treatment needs for children entering out-of-home placements. CHEC is a partnership between the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P) and Medicaid. Through this program, we are able to recognize any medical problems, delays in development and mental health difficulties. Once a child’s needs are identified, proper services are recommended.

The CHEC evaluation is administered by both medical and mental health professionals. It includes a complete physical exam, a developmental assessment and a mental health screening. Requirements for the evaluation include a completed referral packet (available on the CHEC Evaluations page) and the child’s immunization record. Medical records, school records (report cards, IEP and CST evaluation), and reports from any CP&P evaluations are extremely helpful, as well.

All children entering out-of-home placement through CP&P are eligible to receive CHEC evaluations. A Child Health Unit Staff Assistant typically makes the referral. Once the paperwork is received, an appointment is scheduled - ideally within 30 days of placement. Evaluations occur Monday through Friday.

CHEC Evaluations

What to Expect at Your Visit

An adult who knows the child is required to attend at least a portion of the CHEC evaluation to provide information, but both resource parents and CP&P caseworkers are encouraged to come. In addition, an adult must accompany the child for the entire visit. The CHEC visit lasts about two to four hours, depending on the child’s age. Breaks are offered, so adults are encouraged to bring a snack or lunch for the child.

CHEC evaluations are performed at various sites throughout New Jersey, including the four Regional Diagnostic & Treatment Centers. The CHEC program at the CARES Institute serves the seven southern counties of New Jersey through two locations: our Stratford office, Mondays through Fridays, and our Vineland office on Mondays.

More Info

Pre-placement Assessments

CARES medical providers also offer pre-placement, re-placement, and return-to-home assessments (collectively referred to as pre-placement assessments) at both office locations. These assessments include a complete physical examination and a plan to address any emergent medical needs. In addition, the medical providers document any pre-existing marks/bruises or injuries, and identify and treat any infectous conditions. 

Evaluation Info