Families participate in an individualized, strengths-based, family-focused, culturally responsive assessment that informs service and permanency plan development.
All family members are engaged in the assessment process, and extended family members are involved when appropriate.
The information gathered for assessments:
Interpretation: Therapeutic foster care programs also receive or provide a diagnostic assessment prior to, or within 30 days of, placement to identify needs and determine the most appropriate placement.
Interpretation: The child’s extended family and other community members should be considered as valuable resources when identifying family resources for the child and the parents.
Note: Refer to the Assessment Matrix for additional assessment criteria. The elements of the matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.
Assessments are conducted in a strengths-based, culturally-responsive manner to identify resources that can increase service participation and support the achievement of agreed upon goals.
Interpretation: Culturally-responsive assessments can include attention to geographic location, language, political status, tribal affiliation, and religious, racial, ethnic and cultural background. Other important factors that contribute to a responsive assessment include attention to age, sexual orientation, and developmental level.
The child receives an initial screening from a qualified medical practitioner within 72 hours of entry into care to identify the need for immediate medical or mental health care, and assess for infectious and communicable diseases.
Interpretation: The portion of the initial screening that addresses mental health identifies suicidal ideation or history of suicide attempts and aggressive, dangerous, self-destructive, or psychotic behaviors.
Note: In order to receive a rating of 1, the screening should be conducted by a qualified medical practitioner. In order to receive a rating of 2, the organization can work with a qualified medical practitioner to develop a screening tool that can be administered by trained personnel at the organization. The organization should implement this practice within the stated timeframe in the majority of cases, but will receive a rating of 2 if in all other cases, the screening is conducted within 5 days of entry into care.
Note: See FC 10.03 for additional information about the comprehensive health assessments needed to identify and address children’s health needs.
The assessment process is initiated through individual meetings:
Interpretation: The meeting with children in therapeutic foster care occurs on the day of placement, and the meeting with therapeutic foster parents occurs within 10 days of placement.
Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the organization, and are updated periodically.
Interpretation: Assessments may need to be updated prior to case reviews or decision-making processes, and when the child or family’s circumstances change.