A Common Application Form (CAF) designed by our staff provides fast, centralized intake for all clients, regardless of categorical needs. The CAF helps to minimize duplication of information and closes gaps in services for clients.
From the receptionist to the administrator, all TCDHS staff are trained to complete a CAF. The form identifies demographic data, family involvement with the Agency and other providers, social history and information to determine what services are needed.
When a CAF is entered electronically, a special software program automatically highlights indicator words which describe a client’s problem. The list of indicator words or phrases such as abuse, agitated behavior, or emergency was developed by Agency staff using established assessment models.
Each indicator has a predetermined numerical value. Our computer system automatically prioritizes service needs and assigns each CAF a numerical score based on urgency. This allows us to complete intakes in order of priority. As soon as an electronic CAF is completed it is on-line and instantly available to the Family Services’ Service Planning Unit. After completing a CAF, clients accepted into the system are assigned a caseworker and services are immediately accessible.