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

Effective Date:  7-2-2021


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 is to be assessed using the Initial Family Assessment and the Initial Family Assessment Attachment to develop the Social Service Plan.  There are often times where this requires multiple home visits during this period.  The Initial Family Assessment, the Initial Family Assessment Attachment, and Social Service Plan shall be fully completed with the family to include all Parent/Caregiver/Guardians, supportive people chosen by the children and family, in collaboration with other service providers involved with the family, and with the involvement of resource families or residential treatment providers within 30 days of case opening.  This plan will evolve over time and will be formally updated every 90 days after the last completion date or sooner, when children’s or family’s circumstances change in the case or in preparation for a court hearing. Each reassessment of the family will occur utilizing the Social Service Plan every 90 days after the last completion date through the entirety of the case even in situations where the Parents/Caregivers/Guardians are no longer involved. At the termination of a case, the closing Social Service Plan assessment must be completed with the family within 15 days prior to the closing visit date and requires Supervisor approval prior to closing the case in FACES. Each Social Service Plan requires Supervisor approval and signature prior to submission in FACES.

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 through use of the Social Service Plan.  Review of the plan and documentation of observed behavioral change, progress towards completion of next steps and safety goals should be captured in the worker’s contact narrative during every home visit.

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