Animal Interaction Assessment

Green Chimneys continuously evaluates internal policies and procedures to not only maintain safety for children and animals, but also to seek ways to enhance how we serve our students and animal partners. We’re proud to share a tool for clinicians and human service professionals working in the field of human-animal interaction (HAI).

Clinical Assessment for Human-Animal Interaction

Developed by Green Chimneys clinicians, The Animal Interaction Assessment (AIA) can be implemented in many other therapeutic environments that incorporate animals into work with clients. The AIA is used when a staff member has expressed concern over a specific child-animal interaction. Its ultimate purpose: to guide treatment decisions by offering clinicians insight into the function and history of a child’s problematic behaviors.

The intent is a comprehensive model for assessment involving children and HAI that looks at the whole child – beyond the incident – and focuses on understanding both a child’s strengths and weaknesses. And unlike many other assessments, the tool assesses the child’s sensory needs, which is important when serving children with a wide range of diagnoses such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and traumatic stress disorders.

In addition to incorporating sensory needs, the child’s social reasoning, trauma history and psychosocial challenges are evaluated.

The AIA provides step-by-step questions and analytics for clinical-led activities including

  • Interviewing the child
  • Observing a session with child and animal
  • Background questions and considerations
  • Scoring matrix
  • Assessment overview

Download the AIA assessment tool

As part of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, which works to advance the field of HAI through advocacy, education and research, the AIA is available for professionals in the field. Provide your information below to receive a link to download a Word version of the document. Once you’ve completed the form, please check your inbox and your spam folder for the email.

Share data

Clinicians adopting the AIA in their work with clients are invited to participate in a data-sharing project. For details, contact Denise Luft, LMHC via [email protected].

Special thanks to…

Animals & Society for including the AIA on their website. Visit their assessments for practitioners webpage