In this article about types of clinical evaluations that are often used to support immigration cases ( http://www.msba.org/departments/commpubl/publications/bar_bult/2007/oct/evaluation.asp) it is noted that many of the tests used by clinical psychologists in their evaluations with immigrants are not appropriate with this diverse population, and the tests are therefore of limited or no use. The author indicates that because the tests do not account for diversity in cultural backgrounds, they cannot be reliably used for immigration evaluations.
Because clinical psychologists use testing in their evaluations, the time for the evaluation is significantly lengthened and therefore the cost of the evaluation is substantially higher.
Inherent in our training as social workers is the idea that all people should be able to have access to services that will support them. In offering a reduced, sliding-scale fee for my reports, I open the door to people who would not have been able to previously afford these evaluations. I believe that not just wealthy clients should have access to high quality legal and mental health services
In addition to offering a reduced price for an evaluation, I also offer a payment plan. This has meant that I have successfully completed evaluations with clients who would not have been able to afford this much needed service.
Finally, social workers are trained to look at a person as part of a larger community, family and social network, and that any complete evaluation will focus on the impact of outside influences on the individual, and how the person fits into their environment. This holistic view provides for a more expansive understanding of a person’s functioning rather than looking more specifically on diagnostic criteria. Although a diagnosis is often a piece of the evaluation, providing an overall picture of a person in light of where they fit in their larger world is the job of a successful psychosocial evaluation.