Keep the Good Parts of Family Assessment

Minnesota’s Family Assessment (FA) program is based the unsubstantiated claim that traditional child protection practices are disrespectful of parents, and the assumption - proven false by research – that parents will engage in services voluntarily.


Some FA practices also endanger children, for example assigning them to the “low-risk” FA track before completing a risk assessment.

Yet FA includes positive elements such as case planning that builds on family strengths, and actually providing the services in the case plan.  We can’t tell if these practices are being followed consistently statewide, but we would support doing so.

The Governor’s Child Protection Task Force recommended implementing a child protection program that incorporates the best elements of FA and traditional investigations.  As this report shows (see p. 5), Louisiana has done this, we should too.

What do you think?

Please leave your comments on our blog below.

Rich GehrmanComment