Understanding CCS Functional Goals

In order to provide the highest quality of care and the most effective treatment, the therapists at CCS perform an evaluation and regular progress checks to determine whether functional goals can be developed for the children we serve. This gives us a way to focus our treatment to determine frequency and see whether or not direct treatment is indicated. This is a standard of practice throughout the professional community, and is not specific to CCS.

It is valuable for caregivers to understand functional goals so that it is clear why a therapist chooses a particular treatment focus over another. In this way the therapist and caregiver can work together toward goals that are meaningful to the child and caregiver.

Functional goals must be focused on the child: The goal must be one that the child, not a caregiver, will achieve. For example, we write "the child will become more independent with transferring from his bed to his wheelchair." We do not write that this transfer will be easier for the caregiver (though of course easier transfers for the caregiver would be a result of improving the child’s independence).

Functional goals must be measurable: For instance, we write "the child will walk 250 feet with a walker with minimum assistance." We need to be very specific.

And here’s the functional part of a functional goal: the goal must be focused on the child attaining a measurable level of a functional skill. The skill may be an activity of daily living (ADL), such as grooming, bathing, or feeding. It may also be a mobility skill, such as wheelchair propulsion or walking with or without an assistive device.

The goals developed by the therapists must also be realistic and achievable, in their professional judgement, and be achievable within a particular time frame; 3 to 6 months is the usual time frame. The goals are submitted to the prescribing physician, and if the doctor agrees the goals become the recommendation of the rehabilitation team.