Section 4, Chapter 6 (Working with Parents), Subsection 2 – Parent Assessment

Effective Date:  5-1-19


The Children’s Service Worker continuously conducts the assessment process by completing home visits at least monthly with each parent. During the first 30 days of a case opening, the family should be assessed using the tools most suited to the family.  There are often times where this requires multiple home visits during this period.  A Signs of Safety family risk assessment map shall be fully completed within 30 days of case opening.  This assessment will change over time and will be formally updated and completed at the end of each quarter as follows:

April 1

July 1

October 1

January 1

On the above dates, the updated map will be uploaded into document imaging.

NOTE: even if a case is opened near the end of a quarter (even before the first 30 days) the family risk assessment map is still completed as much as possible and uploaded.

The following topics and factors provide guidance in assessing families:

  • Listen to the family’s perception of the presenting problems/issues
  • Obtain information regarding the family’s history, perceived boundaries, strengths, and weaknesses through the use of Signs of Safety Three Columns, genograms, culturagram, ecomaps, timelines, and other assessment techniques
  • Determine the parent’s knowledge of the special needs of the child including:
    • Unique characteristics including endearing qualities, talents, hobbies, personality traits
    • Health conditions, allergies, or other factors that would require special consideration in placement of the child
    • The child’s school, grade placement, and level of functioning or special service needs and
  • Special cultural, ethnic, and/or religious factors that need to be considered in placement. The family should be asked if they are of Native American heritage because of the special requirements that may apply due to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 P.L. 95-608. See chapter 2, subsection 4 for more information about ICWA.

The Children’s Service Worker shall begin the process of filling out the Child/Family Health and Developmental Assessment (CW-103), attachments A and B, and Financial Statement for Parents of Children in Alternative Care (CS-99) at the time of initial contact with the family. The worker should continue to gather information for the CW-103 during subsequent visits with the family until the form is complete. The resource provider is given a copy of the CW-103 and updated as information becomes available.

The Children’s Service Worker shall continue to evaluate each parent’s progress toward resolving issues which contributed to out-of-home placement.

For more information about assessing and working with families through the Children’s Division Practice Model, see Section 1 of this manual.