The Differential Response Bulletin provides the latest, up-to-date information on topics related to Oregon’s implementation of Differential Response.
Today, I want to dig into the new Oregon Family Strengths and Needs Assessment, which will be an important part of focusing services with families in DR implementation counties (Lane, Klamath and Lake).
The Family Needs and Strengths Assessment Tool is new to our work. Similar to the CANS tool we use with children, it is a multipurpose information tool that is designed to help families (identified as having safe children and moderate to high needs) focus on the services that can meet those needs.
The flowchart demonstrates how this tool fits into our response. After the family has been through the comprehensive assessment and the child has been determined to be safe and the family has some moderate to high needs, the next step is to make a referral to a Family Strengths and Needs Assessment provider.
There are about 60 questions in the assessment, covering family status; family strengths and supports; family relationships; parenting commitment, skills, health and well-being; life and social relationships; child health and well-being; developmental needs; education; and high risk behaviors. While each of the items is rated on its own 4-point scale, the points are not “added up” to get an overall score rating. Rather the assessment gives the service provider, the family, and the CPS workers information to use in the development of a plan around service decisions.
The tool has been tested in several sites throughout the state, as well as tested in the implementation counties. Of course, as workers and providers begin using this tool, it can be adjusted based on feedback.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the work that’s been done in developing the assessment, so join me in a big THANK YOU to the members of the Strengths and Needs Subcommittee for their work:
- Deena Loughary – Chair
- Ashley Woodcock – Co-chair
- Nicole Parada
- Tom Progin
- Dawn Cottrell
- Cathy Wamsley
- Dana Ainam
- Natasha Chapman