GRAT FAQ’s

Please read the following FAQ’s about the Geriatric Regional Assessment Team’s scope and ability. If you have additional questions, would like to consult about eligibility, or would like to make a verbal referral, please call the GRAT line at: 206-448-5730

What are the basic eligibility requirements for GRAT?

  • In order to qualify for a GRAT referral, your client must have some sort of behavioral health need such as: a mental health concern, a cognitive/memory concern, and/or a substance use concern. At our heart, we are a behavioral healthcare team, and our social workers are experts on all types of behavioral needs that are unique to older adults.
  • Otherwise, we have four additional eligibility requirements:
    • All clients must live in King County.
    • All clients must be at least 55 years of age.
    • We cannot accept any client who is in a facility.
    • We cannot accept any client who is homeless/unhoused.

GRAT can’t work with anyone in crisis. What does that mean?

  • We are a small team of social workers, and we are NOT set up for active emergency or crisis work. Our intended response time from receiving a referral to contacting a client for outreach is 8 business days. This means if someone is in a situation where they need immediate help, we are not suitable to help as we cannot respond promptly.
  • For more information on a crisis, and to see examples, please click here [link coming soon].

Who can make a referral to GRAT?

  • Anyone! We take referrals from community members and professionals alike. If you’d like to make a referral, please call the GRAT line listed above. If you are hoping to refer yourself to our program, please start by calling Pathways Information & Assistance at 206-448-3110. We do not accept self-referrals, but our colleagues at Pathways can help determine if you’d be a good fit for GRAT, and make a referral on your behalf if so.

I have a client who would be suitable for GRAT, but they don’t live in King County. Are there any similar programs that could help?

  • At the time of publication, there are no programs like GRAT outside of King County. If your client has urgent needs, we recommend contacting the appropriate 24-hour crisis line.
  • Alternatively, looking up ‘your county + behavioral health services’ is the fastest way to find out what programs and resources are available.

Can GRAT serve people who are under 55?

  • Even if your client has other qualifying needs, GRAT cannot work with anyone under the age of 55.

What is a facility? What does that have to do with who GRAT can accept?

  • Due to our funding guidelines, we cannot work with anyone who is receiving a higher level of care than what we offer. This ensures that the county’s dollars are appropriately serving the most people, and that there aren’t redundancies of service.
  • For these reasons, we define a facility as:
    • Any hospital.
    • Any adult family home.
    • Any assisted living facility.
    • Any inpatient psychiatric program.
    • Any inpatient substance use program.

Why can’t GRAT work with anyone who is homeless/unhoused?

  • Again, this has to do with our funding guidelines. We are unable to work with anyone who is homeless/unhoused. This includes elders who:
    • Are living on the streets.
    • Are living in shelters.
    • Are living in transitional housing.
    • Are living in their car or RV.
    • Are living in motels or hotels.
    • Are couch hopping/ couch surfing.

Does GRAT provide decisional capacity screenings?

  • No, at this time we are unable to perform these types of screenings.

Does GRAT provide in-home therapy?

  • While our clinicians are licensed behavioral health specialists, we are not set up for any meaningful therapy-based work. While the services we provide can be therapeutic, we do not do therapy: in-home, via telehealth, or otherwise.

Does GRAT perform Home Care Assessments for caregiving hours?

  • No, the focus of GRAT is on behavioral health, not on physical and medical needs.

What is a biopsychosocial assessment? What does GRAT screen for?

  • A biopsychosocial assessment is a self-reported screening tool which assesses for biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to problem(s) for our client.
  • GRAT currently has the capacity to screen for:
    • Dementia/Memory Loss.
    • Substance use disorders.
    • Some mental/behavioral health disorders, including depression and anxiety.
      • However, in all of our screenings, we typically do NOT provide diagnoses. Instead, if we perform a screening and it comes up positive, our clinicians will work with the client’s preferred PCP to complete the steps for a medical diagnosis.

Does GRAT have a waitlist? How does the acceptance process actually work?

  • GRAT does not keep a waitlist, we only accept clients on a rolling basis. If you complete a referral, you can expect to hear back from us in a week or less about its acceptance status.

Does GRAT cost money? Are there any financial barriers or restrictions?

  • No, GRAT is funded by the county and our services are provided entirely for free to our clients.

Does GRAT do case management?

  • We are set up to only have short-term engagement with our clients, with cases typically lasting 3-5 weeks. We can make referrals for case management, but cannot do case management ourselves.

My client needs therapy. Can GRAT help?

  • If your client has therapy needs only, they will not be a good fit for GRAT. Unfortunately, we do not have back door access to any mental health providers, and would be going through the exact same referral process as you to get your client connected. In this situation, we would be an extra factor that stands between your client getting the help they need, and are unlikely to accept a referral that outlines therapy needs only.

My client has urgent medical needs. Can GRAT help?

  • We are not a medical team, and do not have the ability to respond quickly to any situation, let alone a medical one.

What other resources exist for elders who need help?

  • If you have resource needs—ie, caregiving, home maintenance, legal assistance, transportation services, counseling services, food services and nutrition—we recommend you give our colleagues at Pathways Information & Assistance a call at 206-448-3110. They are a resource hub, and will be able to give you direction and guidance towards resources that suit your unique needs and situation.
  • Aging and Disability Services through the City of Seattle also has a myriad of programs for older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers.
  • The Washington State Department of Social and Health Servies (DSHS) has a repository of local services that can be filtered by county.