At this time, NWHHR Evaluation Network is only able to provide evaluations for asylum seekers who have legal representation. Evaluations requests must be submitted by the representing attorney or legal team. NWHHR is unable to accept evaluation requests submitted by the asylum seeker/applicant, family member, or community representative.Evaluation requests submitted by pro-bono or low-bono legal representatives are prioritized. Applications for paid asylum seeker claims may be considered for unfilled evaluation openings. Please contact NWHHR@lcswnw.org for more details. We do not currently have the capacity or expertise to provide competency evaluations or evaluations for VAWA, U-Visa, T-Visa, SIJ or other types of immigration relief. We also are also unable to evaluate clients who have been convicted of violent crimes.
A referral is not a guarantee that an evaluation will occur. After receipt and approval, a staff member will try to schedule the requested assessment(s) with available and appropriate volunteer evaluator(s). Due to the limited capacity of NWHHR staff and volunteers, please allow at least 8 weeks to process, schedule, conduct, and finalize an evaluation. Requests for expedited evaluations may be considered if a volunteer has an unfilled opening. Exact wait times may vary, please contact NWHHR (firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-816-3251) for updates.
It is first and foremost the referring law firm’s responsibility to provide independent interpretation for all evaluations (interpreter cannot be a family member close friend of the client or a law firm staff member). If you do not have any such resources or would require the applicant to pay for the interpretation, NWHHR may be able to arrange an interpreter.
Evaluation Appointment Expectations
Once an evaluation appointment is confirmed, it is up to the attorney to ensure that the applicant arrives on time to the appointment. If the applicant needs to reschedule the assessment, we ask that they notify NWHHR at least 24 hours beforehand. If the applicant is running late, we ask that they call and let NWHHR and know as soon as possible. Out of consideration for our long waitlist, our evaluators’ very limited time and availability, and the considerable fees associated with canceled interpretation requests, we may not be able to reschedule missed evaluations. If an applicant misses a rescheduled appointment, they will be removed from our queue to ensure that other applicants can be supported.
Draft and Feedback Expectations
Completion of an evaluation appointment does not guarantee that the volunteer will draft an affidavit. Volunteers reserve the right to decline or retract their affidavits at any point.
In an effort to maintain the independence and integrity of the evaluations, we ask that no sentences or information be directly added into the affidavit text by anyone other than the evaluator. This being said, conscientious feedback is encouraged. We ask, however, that all questions and recommendations be clearly indicated with appropriate context given so that the volunteer evaluators can adequately assess the suggestions. Volunteer evaluators have the right to accept or decline any recommendations in accordance with their clinical and ethical judgment.
After the assessment, volunteer evaluators typically need at least ten business days to draft their affidavit. We ask that you also respond with any feedback, edit suggestions, etc. within ten business days. This will help ensure that the evaluators are able to respond to questions, sign/finalize documents, etc. within a timely manner. Due to the volunteer’s limited availability, we are unable to accommodate last minute or delayed edits or signature requests.
Communication with Volunteers
In an effort to protect the independence and objectivity of our volunteers, we ask that attorneys not directly contact any NWHHR network members without their expressed permission. This includes, but is not limited to: requesting a paid or volunteer evaluation, providing case information, providing feedback on an affidavit, or enquiring about a non-asylum evaluation. We ask that all requests, questions, and feedback be submitted through the NWHHR evaluation coordinator or supporting staff (email@example.com).
HIPAA & Security
NWHHR uses Virtru, free email encryption software, when emailing documents and protected health information. Virtru is a free service and is available for public use. For more information, see https://www.virtru.com/secure-email/. You are not required to use Virtu, but we do ask you to send documents that contain private client information via Virtru or another HIPAA compliant system.
A PDF of the above policies is available here.
How to Request an Evaluation:
In an effort to ensure that all evaluation requests are received and reviewed in an equitable and timely manner, the NWHHR Evaluation Network is transitioning to a secure electronic referral process. The new online referral form can be accessed by clicking here.
Please note: this new referral form uses google forms and requires you to list an email address. If your email or work account does not allow you to access google forms, please contact the evaluation coordinator directly to troubleshoot (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What Information Is Required?
The online referral form will ask for the following information:
· Applicant’s Identifying Information: legal names, date of birth, country of origin, gender, detention status, client type.
· Evaluation Needs: evaluation types, case type, case status, hearing/interview dates, affidavit deadlines, interpretation needs, testimony needs, special considerations, applicant’s city of residence, and applicant’s availability.
· Other Case Details: basis for asylum, specifics to evaluate, additional information about other legal concerns or criminal history.
· Contact Information: Legal representative’s contact information, applicant’s contact information.
Additionally, you will need to upload and submit:
· A signed Release of Information** and
· A full draft of a declaration**
PLEASE NOTE: We cannot accept referrals without these documents.**
George Miller, MSW
NWHHR Evaluation Coordinator
Work Cell: 971-319-3704