Community Healthlink (CHL) through one of its predecessor organizations, the Worcester Youth Guidance Center, has provided mental health and forensic evaluation services to the courts since the 1930s--making it one of the oldest providers of court-based mental health services specific to juveniles in the state. Community Heathlink’s Youth and Family Services have continuously provided Juvenile Court Clinic services throughout the development of the juvenile court system in Massachusetts. Historically these services to the courts have included evaluating the mental health needs of juveniles and families who have come in contact with the courts for the purposes of assessing service needs and consulting on mental health issues for the purposes of disposition planning.
Throughout all five juvenile court sessions in Worcester County, juvenile judges have used the majority of our services for evaluations ordered pursuant to Child Requiring Assistance (formerly CHINS) cases and delinquency matters, in addition to same-day assessments for crisis evaluations. Such assessments are requested to determine if a youth is acutely at risk for harming self or others, and to facilitate for the Court the completion of a civil commitment pursuant to M.G.L. c. 123, s. 12a if needed. The JCC conducts evaluations for competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility pursuant to M.G.L. c. 123, s. 15a.
All clinicians employed with the Juvenile Court Clinic must be independently licensed in Massachusetts and either complete or be enrolled in the statewide Certified Juvenile Court Clinician training program. All clients referred to CHL’s Juvenile Court Clinic program must be juvenile court involved and ordered by a juvenile court judge. There is no fee or charge to our clients and the program does not bill for third party reimbursement through health insurance. We serve clients of all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.
For more information: The Massachusetts Alliance of Juvenile Court Clinics
Worcester County Juvenile Court Clinic
Julie Ann Lamacchia, LICSW, CJCC I, Program Director
Worcester Trial Court
225 Main Street, Room 1009