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As immigration evaluation therapists, it’s important that we do our job to the best of our ability. Our clients rely on us to provide them with a thorough, quality mental health assessment. To be able to deliver the best immigration evaluation, we have to be at the top of our game.
Although every case is different, there are a few things you can do to make the evaluation process faster and more effective. Here are 5 tips for help you fine-tune your skills. The tips are easy to implement and they’ll make a noticeable difference.
1. Schedule adequate time to write the evaluation report.
Once you’ve booked an appointment with a client, make sure there’s sufficient time in your schedule to write the report. You should set aside a specific number of hours in your calendar to get it done. Treat this scheduled writing time the same you would as if you were meeting with a client; make it a priority and avoid distractions. If you do this effectively, you’ll get work done on time and provide a detailed, well-written report. Otherwise, you run the risk of overbooking yourself and falling behind on work.
It can be tempting to take on as many clients as you can, especially if care deeply about the immigrant community. Nevertheless, you should always consider your capacity to do the work effectively.
2. Check-in with clients a few days before the appointment.
It’s advisable to call clients a few days before their appointment. This allows you to confirm the time and date of the appointment, and prevent any last-minute confusion. You can also check if they know how to get to your office and provide directions if necessary.
On the other hand, if you are seeing a client via teletherapy, make sure they know which platform to use. In some cases, it may be worthwhile to do a short test-run. Make sure you take the time to answer questions and ensure the client feels comfortable working with you. This will prevent any major mishaps from happening on the day of the appointment.
3. Verify the client’s legal name.
It’s important to verify a client’s legal name. Sometimes people give their nickname or married name, which can be different from the legal name that is used for their immigration case. This could result in confusion when lawyers, immigration officials, or a judge review the report at a later stage. Make sure the names match up.
4. Send a copy of your resume or CV with the evaluation report.
When sending the completed evaluation report to the lawyer, be sure to include your resume or CV. This is an important step to strengthen the reliability of your evaluation. Your CV or resume outlines your education, knowledge and clinical experience. It should have a detailed explanation of your experience in the field and outline your work history.
5. Always mention who your client is related to in the report cover letter.
When you send your evaluation report to the attorney, remember that the person whom you interviewed may not be the attorney’s client. This is usually the situation in waiver and cancellation of removal cases. Keeping this in mind, it’s always a good idea to let the lawyer know exactly who you are referring to. Your cover letter should explain who your client is related to. For example, the cover letter might say; “This is the evaluation for Ms. Blanca Garcia who is Mr. Carlos Reyes’ wife.”
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s easy to implement these tips every time you do an evaluation. They are simple tasks that will make your entire work process more effective.
The job of an immigration evaluation therapist is incredibly important, and the last thing you want to do is overbook yourself and rush the process of writing the evaluation. In addition, it can be a major setback if you don’t verify small details like appointment times, names, and addresses. Implementing these small tips can help you to progress further as an immigration evaluation therapist.
I’m Cecilia Racine, and I teach therapists how to help immigrants through my online courses. As a bilingual immigrant myself, I know the unique perspective that these clients are experiencing. I’ve conducted over 500 evaluations and work with dozens of lawyers in various states. Immigrants are my passion, I believe they add to the fabric of our country.
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