• child assessment

    Get Started with BRISA

    Contact your caseworker and see if you are eligible. Next call the WMU Unified Clinics main office at (269) 387-7000 and explain that you are interested in the BRISA Program.

BRISA Assessments

The BRISA program provides comprensive family assessments, including individual and joint components for you and your child(ren) in order to identify next steps in your treatment process.

These assessment components include:

  • Parent(s) Substance Abuse Evaluation: to assess for substance use disorders, stage of recovery, and initiate treatment services as needed.

  • Parent Trauma and Attachment Assessment: to assess the parents’ own possible experiences of trauma as well as their adult attachment styles, to understand how these experiences and relational templates have impacted their own development, sense of self, and caregiving patterns in relation to their own children; to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the parents have come to navigate their world, what barriers their own histories pose them now, and what they need in order to heal.

  • Child Neurodevelopmental Trauma Assessment: to assess how the child’s experiences of trauma have shaped their development, functioning and identity formation; to provide a comprehensive understanding of their needs and subsequent recommendations.

  • Structured Parent-Child Observation: using the Marshak Interaction Method (from Theraplay®), parent(s) and child(ren) are observed to assess current relational patterns and wellbeing, the parents’ ability to provide sufficient structure, engagement, nurturance, and challenge to their child(ren), and the child(ren)’s ability to receive this caregiving from their parents. Often when families are involved in or at are risk for being involved in the child welfare system, there has been some degree of attachment strain or interruption/insecurity, which needs to be addressed as modern brain research and the field of neuroscience have shown that attachment is the way in which children come to understand, trust and thrive in their world, and is the main resiliency factor to heal from traumatic stress.

After these evaluations, an integrative family report is crafted to provide a comprehensive understanding of how intergenerational trauma, attachment patterns, and substance use have impacted the family system, and specific recommendations regarding resiliency-based interventions and treatment to ideally support reunification or family preservation. Depending on the specific needs of the particular family, ongoing services are provided either directly through BRISA, elsewhere in the community, or through a combination of both.